Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.     He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday – tearful Tuesday! That’s because of the many tears we’ll shed this morning, having to get up and go out to work, tired, sleep deprived, moaning and groaning, after the long, loud, lusty and lustful Labour Day weekend. (smile)
 
Don’t worry my brethren, the ole fella’s in the same boat. I shed a few tears my self just now when I had to get up to write the Bit, after only about three hours of sleep. But having cried out for LOVE and mercy and grace, I’m facing up to my task, assured of heavenly blessing and guidance to complete it in a worthwhile manner.
 
And I just want to comment here, give a personal testimony, on some thing I heard my Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) say this weekend. He claims he wasn’t the least bit interested in being the pastor at Lakewood Church after his father went to be with the Lord some ten years ago.
 
He was quiet happy being in the background looking after the television aspect of the ministry. However, deep down inside, he felt that it was his calling, his destiny, and once he accepted that unforeseen role, despite all the problems surrounding it, he experienced an inner peace within himself that he just could not understand.
 
But it was the Lord’s peace; that peace that surpasses all human understanding.
 
On hearing that, it just brought back to my memory the surprising and unexpected peace I also experienced when my mother Molly died three years ago.
 
I was in California at the time, on a short vacation, the first time I’d left the country in some four or five years, and was most surprised and disappointed when I got the news of her passing, without me even having a chance to say a formal goodbye, and she, just a couple days before telling me that she wasn’t yet ready to go home.
 
But soon thereafter, I unexpectedly found myself at a point of quiet peace with situation. The Lord put a couple of understandable though not necessarily wonderful reasons in my heart for His action.
 
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed, sad and cried and grieved and everything else. But deep down inside I didn’t have the turmoil that usually comes with those kinds of situations. I remember remarking to myself how calm and collected I was, despite all the sorrow and heartache surrounding me.
 
I now realize that that was indeed the peace of God which passes all human understanding, which allows us to have a calm interior, while the winds of the storm are wreaking havoc all around us on the outside.
 
And the moral of the story is that when the storm clouds of trouble and sorrow surround us, it is indeed possible to have internal peace, if we turn to our wonderful God and cast all our cares upon Him, as He so generously advises. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’(1 Pet. 5:7)
 
He will certainly keep ALL of His promises; of never leaving nor forsaking us, of having good plans for our lives, plans of hope and a good future, to also bring us through the fire suitably changed but unscathed, working it all out for our good in His time and manner.
 
No wonder Isaiah likens Him to a shepherd in our Bit, for a true shepherd cares for and looks after his flock with total concentration. ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those with young.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, what a wonderful word portrait of our great Provider, Jehovah Raffa!
 
And there are lots of scriptures that describe Him as a shepherd because the old Jewish society was agrarian, and best-understood stuff couched in agricultural terminology.
 
Now let’s look at some of those scriptures that portray our omnipotent, LOVING, merciful, most caring and forgiving God as a shepherd. And the obvious scripture to begin with are the words of Jesus Himself, of whom Isaiah was prophesying, when he made the claims in our Bit.
 
Jesus unequivocally declares to His listeners: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
 
The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so knoweth I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 
And other sheep I have (Gentiles), which are not of this fold (Jews): them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10: 11-16)
 
Oh Friends, how much more convincing and eloquent can Jesus be eh? Not much. He says it all right there.
 
Meanwhile Jeremiah in his prophecy declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (coastlands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ (Jer.31:10)
 
And Micah, in talking of the deliverers from Bethlehem, tells us: ‘And he shall stand and feed (shepherd his flock) in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.’ (Mic.5:4)
 
Then Peter declares it thus: ‘For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:25) There he is quoting Isaiah 53:5-6.
 
And we’ll close with the most famous scripture passage, re the analogy of God to a shepherd. Hear these beautiful, soul-searching, uplifting and inspiring words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside still waters (waters of rest).
 
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:1-4)
 
Oh my people, please take heart, for despite all the troubles that surround us, all the fires we must pass through, our wonderful heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter, are always around us, leading us to green pastures filled with restful, sweet tasting and rejuvenating water.
 
So today, please put all your trust and faith and hope in our Triune God, who watches over and protects us like a true shepherd does his sheep. Much LOVE!
 
…when the Good Shepherd, Jesus comes a calling…His sheep will recognize His voice…and heed His righteous and comforting call…