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)

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Ah friends, at long last a somewhat cloudy day in my area! And with it seems to be coming some heavenly precipitation. So far it’s only a slight sprinkle, but it’s better than nothing, for we haven’t seen rain around here in ages. 

And although it’s nice to have sunny days, we also need some showers of blessing to balance out the situation. The ground around here is parched and thirsty, let’s hope it gets some much needed relief today. 

But yuh see how life can be contrary? Places down south have been having oodles of rain and little sunshine, while we up here have been having lots of sunshine and no rain. The only redeeming factor is that our great and wonderful God is still in control of the universe He created! 

Glory to God! So we know that there is a purpose, a plan to every move that happens within it, because our God does not move ‘vikey vie’ (without purpose). 

And with all that being said, the workingman has already declared his Friday anthem: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…even though it look cloudy! But come rain or come shine, we still going to have a good time this weekend! 

Partying fuh so mih breddren! Who going to stop we eh? Nobody! Not even God in His high heaven! So we thank Him for Fridays and the weekends!’ 

Yeh mih people, the workingman, as usual, has gone a tad too far in planning his weekend reverie. All he’s doing there is opening up himself for the always-lurking enemy, Lucifer, to come in and lay siege to his life. 

We Christian brethren cannot afford to be so lax and boundary less, since we don’t want the enemy to get even a toehold in our lives. And though our Friday Chant is not as effusive as the workingman’s anthem, it surely serves our purposes better. 

So let’s chant it now with supreme enthusiasm nuh. ‘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.’ 

Yuh see friends, we’re still open to having fun and partying, but just not to the extreme degree that the workingman goes to. It’s also important that we prepare for the upcoming week, so that come Monday, we can go back out into the evil and ungodly world and diligently do the Lord’s work. 

And to do that successfully, our Christian lives need to have boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and High Priest Jesus Christ! And if we don’t have them, then we can’t function properly in His economy. 

Now please don’t think that we’re missing out on anything because we don’t behave like leggo- beast, (smile) lecherous and decadent, for we still have lots of good, clean fun within Jesus’ parameters. 

And one of the main ways we stay within those parameters is by taking His sage advice in our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s not forget that prayer is our ultimate form of communication with our heavenly Father. And if we don’t pray, don’t communicate with Him, then we won’t know what plans and purposes He has for our lives. 

And He DOES have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, as He says in Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

My brethren, our merciful and ever-LOVING God ALWAYS has good thoughts and plans for us. There’s no sense in Him creating us in His own image, then thinking evil towards us. Anyway, we’ll end this series of messages on prayer with the classic example of prayer that Jesus gave us.

The Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1) 

And Jesus responded: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that simple but all-encompassing prayer, but do we pray it, or some version of it? Not enough I believe. On the whole, I don’t think we communicate with our great and wonderful God enough, and that’s only to our detriment. For our sakes, as well as our children’s, let’s try and improve it nuh. Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates…that a believer prays…always…and forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

And then it was Thursday, two days away from the great celebration of New Year’s Eve, with a smattering of fresh snow on the ground. It’s not a great deal, but sufficient to cause problems if we’re not careful. So please be careful on the roads this morning. 

And despite problems and otherwise, everybody is getting their dan-dan, (smile) their finery ready to go out and party and ring in the New Year with much pomp and ceremony. 

But here again, please, let’s just be careful while we’re having fun, because the slightest mistake whatever it may be, can cause disaster. And we certainly don’t want to ring in the New Year amidst a disastrous scene. 

Now here is a simple but interesting prayer I got from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. Please pray with me: ‘Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished within me.’ 

Yeh friends, there’s nothing like trusting our heavenly Father and waiting with eager anticipation for His promises and purposes to be done in us, for spiritually we’re still a work in progress, and He’s continually molding and shaping us into reflections of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could declare in our Bit: ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yes, he was still in that molding process. In spite of all his successes and achievements, Bruh Paul still felt he hadn’t attained that level of maturity and ‘knowing Christ,’ the way he wanted to. 

Consequently he stopped concentrating on what had gone before, accounting it all loss and dung to the wonderful privilege of advancing his knowledge in Christ in the foreseeable future. 

And to continue his noble search, he further declares after our Bit. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:14) 

That verse the scholars explain thus: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, there can be no higher calling than that of God, which exists through Jesus Christ, bringing the wonderful gifts of grace called salvation and eternal life! 

Now the smart or wise thing for us all to do is to simply keep pressing on, reaching out for the prize, racking up rewards in heaven for the things we’ve done here on earth. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ (Phil3:15) 

And the scholars explain: 3:15. Be thus minded literally means “let us think this” or “let us hold this opinion.” Mature Christians must realize that they are not ethically perfect, but they tirelessly press onward for higher spiritual attainments (vv.13-14). 

There is present, then, a bit of irony: perfect (mature) believers are those who admit they are not perfect in any absolute sense. The apostle urges all mature Philippian Christians to hold his attitude; conceding that none has yet “spiritually arrived” but ever pressing on toward further development. 

If…ye be otherwise minded: The writer realizes that not all of the Philippian readers agree with this conviction of verses 12-15. But he is confident that God shall reveal their erroneous thinking to them.’ 

Likewise my faithful brethren, in these modern times we believers must also press on, seeking spiritual maturity in our earthly sojourn. And just like the Philippians, some of us might not agree with that path, but God will undoubtedly show us the error of our ways, if we don’t hold fast to that commitment. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us: ‘Nevertheless, whereto (to the degree that) we have already attained (arrived, reached), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (be of the same mind).’ (Phil.3:16) And that is simple common sense my people. 

But hear the scholars’ comments. ‘3:16. Whereto we have already obtained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. 

They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with the same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to the truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.’ 

Yes friends, at whatever our level of spiritual maturity, that is the standard to which we must walk, if we want to eventually move up higher. 

So let’s go home with that in our minds and our Thursday Blessings being proclaimed by our tongues. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

Now in full voice and strong belief: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, we are so blessed by our wonderful God, let’s go out and bless others nuh and thus glorify His Holy Name! Much LOVE!

…God won’t give us more…until He sees we can handle what we already have…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2013 John 3:27

John 3:27.  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
 
Oh mih Friends, it’s another day in the life! And I know that many of us live the same bland, same old, uneventful lives from day to day, but if we truly believe in Almighty God, then though the events might seem the same – home, work, home – the spiritual undercurrent and happenings will definitely be different. Everyday we’ll be faced with different spiritual challenges.
 
And getting logical, (smile) how can each day be truly be the same eh, when we’re getting new mercies, blessings, forgiveness and opportunities from heaven above? Our God is so wonderful that He threads the needle of each day with a different colour thread, so that our lives will all seem to be beautiful reflections of His rainbow. (smile)
 
And to add some encouragement to all of that, because that’s what we try to do here at the Bit, here is this interesting quote. I might have shared it before, but if I did, it’s certainly worthy of sharing again. It comes from the German writer, Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825).
 
It says: ‘Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. When a storm approaches thee, be as fragrant as a sweet smelling flower.’
 
Ah mih people, those are certainly wise and encouraging words, but not always easy to live by in this mish-mash world. But whoever said that living on this ungodly earth was meant to be easy eh? We’ll all endure times of storm and times of peace and calm, we just have to hope and pray that the latter will greatly outweigh the former.
 
And regardless of what comes against us, we can only face it as a sweet smelling flower with the help of Jehovah God!
 
And with that indisputable fact, we’ll segue smoothly into our new Bit. ‘John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’
 
Now Friends, that is the truth of all truths! And we’ll prove it with some scriptures in a minute. But first let’s get some background on the subject.
 
John gave that answer to his disciples when they came and told him: ‘Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.’ (John 3:26)
 
Then after our Bit, John continued: ‘Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’ (John 3:28-30)
 
John’s ministry and that of Jesus ran concurrently for a short period. And as Jesus’ was increasing, John’s was decreasing. This however didn’t bother John, because He knew that was God’s plan. John’s ministry didn’t really end until he was imprisoned and then beheaded.
 
And with that bit of background, let’s check out some supporting scriptures, beginning with Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the church at Rome, re the service of LOVE to all.
 
‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
 
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity (liberality); he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.’ (Rom.12:5-8)
 
Yes mih breddren, we have all been endowed with different gifts for different purposes, but they all come from the same source, the same eternal fountainhead; the Most High God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And we are all supposed to use those gifts, whatever they may be, in doing God’s holy will; being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, not hiding our lights or abusing and abandoning God’s gifts.
 
And as Bruh Paul continues to the Roman church: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9)
 
Now that, my people, is the greatest thing a believer can ever do!
 
And as the scholars advise: ‘The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others, (exercised through one’s will), LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’
 
Unfortunately though, that doesn’t happen in our churches today as much as it ought to. Some of the bitterest fights and most hypocritical actions are currently consuming our churches, that’s why the body of Christ is so divided, disjointed and much weaker than it should be.
 
And since I’m so concerned about our short attention span, (smile) we’ll end with one more scripture. Don’t want you all to blame the length of the Bit for your not reading it. Hn, hn! But we all know that’s one of our favourite complaints today for anything that takes a few minutes to comprehend.
 
And this last scripture is from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, trying to make them understand that Christians ought to be co-workers, not simply individual labourers. Remember there was some confusion as to whom the Corinthians should follow, Bruh Paul or Apollos?
 
Well he straightaway tells them: ‘Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.’ (1 Cor.3:5-7)
 
And on that note of gospel truth, my Friends, we’ll close today. Let’s hope that the words we’ve read will reach deep down into our hearts, minds and souls and take root, and thus make a sincere difference to the way we treat each other, especially those of the Christian faith, for it’s all about togetherness and LOVE.
 
Much LOVE, my fellow believers!
 
…LOVE is the strong cord that’s supposed to bind Christ’s body together…