Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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 let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2016 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Well then friends, it’s a big Tuesday morning and we’re slowly working our way towards Christmas – just 12 more days – to that wonderful day when our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus was born! 

It is the festive season of and for LOVE; sharing, caring and giving, with the thought of Jesus uppermost in our minds, not the commercial stuff that we’re being bombarded with. 

Now here is an interesting and most appropriate poem for all seasons from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It is titled ‘I Will Be Pleased.’ 

Please read with me: ‘Lord, this fresh early morning As I sit in our quiet living room You’ve just reminded me Through David the Psalmist That there is incomparable joy For those who delight to please You – For those who are thinking about ways To follow You more closely. 

Lord, the day stretches out before me, In a few brief moments I must arouse my family And face again the noise, the distraction The hubbub of confusion. But while we are still alone Just the two of us, my Lord While Your peace floods my tranquil heart Please tell me what I can do This duty-packed day To follow you more closely. 

Dearly LOVED child Praise me joyfully Talk with me intimately Trust me totally And I will be pleased.’ 

Ah mih people, a lot of us ask God what we can do to be more righteous in our daily walk with Him. Well there is the wise answer: Joyful praise, Intimate conversation, Total Surrender and thus total trust. 

Those things on a continual basis will always please our heavenly Father, and in turn bring peace, joy and understanding into our own hearts, minds and souls. So instead of fussing and fighting, being miserable and anxious, let’s try initiating and/or integrating those things into our lives nuh. They will make such a big difference that we’ll truly be surprised. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem comes from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of thy countenance.’ (Ps.89:15) What an awesome promise my brethren, one we should hold on to with all our strength! 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful Bit, an even bigger and better promise of our magnanimous God. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Wow friends! What a totally awesome God we serve and worship! It just blows me away to think that such a magnificent and righteous Being would care so much for me, a lowly, sinful soul, to provide a most wonderful opportunity for me to be pardoned, to receive salvation and to be reconciled to Him! 

And so should all of mankind be blown away by that act of grace and unmerited favour. It shows what true LOVE is all about. Now hear this scripture from 1 John that brings home to us the true meaning of LOVE. 

‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. 

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 we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.’ (1 John 4:7-13). 

Ah friends, what beautiful scripture! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘4:9. To grasp God’s LOVE aright, one must look to how God has demonstrated it. Here John is in total harmony with Paul (Rom.5:8).’ 

4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

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.’ 

Yes friends, it’s that simple: if we don’t have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us, then we don’t have the power, the ability to be a truly LOVING person as defined by God’s Word. That’s why it’s our bounden duty to help others come to Christ, so that they can receive the real power and Spirit of LOVE. 

Now let’s go home, declaring our Tuesday Mantra with sincere passion, in a strong and convincing voice that says we truly believe what we’re saying. (smile) 

As one 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!’ 

Yes my people, that’s who we really are; beloved children of God and wonderful friends of Jesus! Let’s never forget that and stop being defined by what the world thinks of us. 

And as we go out today, let’s also remember to share the amazing and awesome LOVE of Jesus, as we are duty bound to. Much LOVE!

…LOVE is the strongest power in the world…the ultimate fulfillment of life…