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 3 January 2013 2 Chronicles 24:20

2 Chronicles 24:20.    And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.
 
Oh Friends, I came to write the Bit just now, with no intro in mind. But as usual, the Lord, in His awesome LOVING-kindness pointed me to one. I went to straighten out a picture on my cluttered desk and inadvertently disturbed some other stuff, amongst them a couple of the sayings we find in the Chinese fortune cookies. And while replacing them, this particular one, struck me as being rather relevant to today. It simply says: ‘All that we are arises with our thoughts.’ And that’s ever so true my people, because our thoughts are what guide and propel our actions. That means bad or evil thoughts will lead to similar actions, while good, wholesome thoughts will bring good, wholesome actions. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do at the beginning of this New Year via our Bit; change our concentration from being uppermost on Lucifer and the mindless things of the world, to Jesus and the awesome, soul-inspiring things of heaven. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.’ The Bit is quite plain and to the point Friends. The people of Israel had turned from the God of their fathers, who had given them prosperity, to worshipping idols. And it’s obvious if you worship idols, or any other supposed god beside He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you will not prosper. Moses said that to the Israelites, long, long ago. ‘And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress (overstep) the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper (succeed). Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before (defeated by) your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you.’ (Num.14:41-43) But they didn’t listen to Moses, rebelliously went out to battle, and were totally slaughtered. The same thing happened with our Bit. The king Joash had been saved as a baby by his sister Jeho-shabeath from the wicked queen Athaliah, who usurped the throne after her son Ahaziah’s death, killing all the royal heirs. Now, Jeho-shabeath was the wife of Jehoiada the priest, and they hid Joash in the temple for six years, while Athaliah reigned wickedly over the land. (2 Chr.22) In the fullness of time though, through Jehoiada’s influence and cunning, the people rebelled against Athaliah, slew her and made Joash king at the age of 7. ‘And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.’ (2 Chr.24:20) However, after Jehoiada died at age 130, Joash listened to the fawning princes of the land who came and made obeisance to him. ‘And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves (wooden images) and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.’ (2 Chr.24:18) But our God LOVES us so much that He just doesn’t give up on us. ‘Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.’ (2 Chr.24:19) Oh Friends, that’s the same thing that’s happening in our crazy, confused, misguided world today! The Lord’s sending His messengers to us to tell us repent and come back to Him, else our lives will be devastated. But just like the Israelites of old, we’re not listening. We still insist on going about our own disobedient, rebellious way, instead of doing God’s will. What do you think will be the eventual out come eh? Listen to this. When the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah and he testified against his people, they conspired against him, and stoned him on the orders of Joash, the king. Joash conveniently forgot the goodness of Zechariah’s father, Jehoiada, who raised him like his own son. But remember Friends, our God says that revenge is His, and he will repay in due time. (Deut.32:35) Consequently, at the end of that year, the Syrian army invaded Judah and Jerusalem, killed the princes, left Joash badly wounded, and sent an abundance of spoil back to Damascus. (2 Chr.24:23) Now please listen carefully to this next verse Friends. ‘For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgement against Joash.’ (2 Chr.24:24) Yuh see mih people, the Lord rights all wrongs in His own way and time! And believe me, right now He is righting some of our wrongs with the devastating changes and problems we’re facing. That’s why I’m urging us to repent and turn back to Jehovah God this year of 2013. It’s imperative that we do so Friends, because I believe this will be a watershed, make or break year. Hear how Cousin Sol tells it in Proverbs. ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ (Prov.28:13) It couldn’t be any plainer than that mih breddren. Life is tough all around and none of the schemes or solutions of men are working because the problems are too big and complex for our puny minds to even conceive, much less solve. And if we can’t solve our problems, then the only logical and wise move is to turn to Jehovah God, the Creator, Controller and Provider of the universe. And we’ll end with this appropriate piece of scripture, a warning from the prophet Azariah. Please pay close attention to it, because it’s exactly what’s happening right now. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king) and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations (turmoil) were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of (by) nation, and city of city: for God did vex (trouble) them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:1-7) That’s the Word of the Lord Friends; we shall either live by it, or die without it. Much LOVE!…he who does not obey…will certainly pay…that’s the Lord’s decree from day one…and it hasn’t changed…neither will it ever…