Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2017 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Eight days friends, eight long days to Christmas Day! And can you imagine the loud voices raised in glorious  song, in praise and worship all over the world as that day draws nigh, and we gather in the Lord’s house this and next Sunday to fellowship with joy and gladness! And when you add heaven’s rejoicing with their own songs of praise and worship, what a joyful cacophony of harmonious singing there will be in the universe! (smile) 

So let’s not waste any time in joining that awesome choir of celebration, let’s declare our own joy by offering up our rendition of the old but much beloved hymn, ‘Hark the herald angels sing,’ written by Charles Wesley in the early 18th century. With much pomp and pride and heartfelt sincerity, let’s open up our mouths, and with sacrificial praise let the world know how glad and grateful we are for Jesus’ birth.  

In perfect harmony now: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”) Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (Refrain) 

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. (Refrain) Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head. Now display Thy saving pow’r, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. (Refrain) 

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy LOVE. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: Oh, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart. (Refrain).’

Ah friends, how beautiful it is to give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father! Nothing moves our heart like that. And it also moves the Father’s heart when He sees the outpouring of real LOVE from the very depths of our hearts towards Him, not just us spouting inane platitudes to try and win His attention. That’s why it’s ever so important to have right motives in our hearts at all times my brethren. 

Remember what the Lord said to Samuel in our Bit when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can carry on with all sorts of righteousness and holiness in public, like the Pharisees did, but if our heart isn’t right, then the Lord will simply ignore us. And unfortunately, in this current version of our society, outward appearance is a very big factor in how we react to and treat each other. That’s why there are so many outwardly good-looking ungodly, incompetent, simple-minded and evil people in our world today. Oh we can certainly put on a good outward show, be kind and generous and all that, but when the Lord checks us out and realizes that we’re only doing it just for our personal benefit, He’s simply going to cut us off at the knees. 

And a very good example of that is Jesus’ position on the offering of a poor widow and that of the rich folks. ‘And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites (small copper coins), which make a farthing.  And he (Jesus) called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance (surplus); but she of her want (out of her poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living (her whole livelihood).’ (Mark 12:42-44) 

Yeh friends, in the Lord’s eyes, it’s not always about how much you give, but more often what sacrifice you make to give whatever it is. If we have plenty, we can always give plenty. But it’s when we don’t have plenty, then we see the true nature of our hearts. As the scholars say: ‘12:43-44. God does not measure giving by conventional human standards.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

Thus friends, it’s ever so important for us have the kind of heart that the Lord approves of, and the best way to get that is by going to Him in sincere prayer and asking for His help, like Bruh David did at the end of Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. He humbly pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (test) me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Yes my people, that’s the best way to acquire a right heart…go directly to the Father! Much LOVE!

…a man whose heart is not right…will not find favour with the Lord…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Well a fine Wednesday morning or afternoon to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit readers! Here is hoping that the Lord is blessing and keeping you safe and sound and giving you the necessary accoutrements to do His work in an excellent manner…. 

Oh that last statement is redundant, because the Lord ALWAYS gives us the wherewithal to do His work in an excellent manner. (smile) 

Anyway, today I want to share an interesting poem titled ‘Rejection,’ written by a lady named June Hunte. And is it ever so poignant and applicable to all believers! Some of you might know it, but it’s one of those pieces that never get old or stale. 

Please pray with me. ‘My Lord Jesus, I will live with your hope, even when life looks hopeless. I will not harbour hate, even when I’m ignored. I will live with your peace, even when I’m rejected. I will live with your LOVE, even when I’m scorned. 

I will pray with your heart, even for those who hurt me. I will forgive with your grace, even when I’m betrayed. I won’t focus on fear, for I know You are faithful. I won’t let heartache reign, I will move forward with faith. I pray this as your humble child.’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Christian faith explained right there! But how many of us are living up to it eh? Definitely not as many as should! We allow the enemy to fill our spirits with too much negative and unproductive stuff when we don’t get the desires of our hearts. But that does no good my people. It only drags us even further down in to the mire of despair, bitterness, fear and hate, when what we desperately need is upliftment and strong faith. 

That brings us to our Bit, which is also a serious drag on our faith. ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ Why? ‘For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble) (Prov.24:2) 

Oh my brethren, is that ever a serious warning from Cousin Sol! And it’s probably even more necessary in these ridiculously evil times than when he first wrote it. The times are so evil that people are selling their souls for next to nothing. 

The dark, the occult, the netherworld are all on the upswing now, but the worse thing we can ever do is to be envious of evil men, and then allow that envy to lead us into their evil way of living. And believe you me, the evil in the world is a powerful tool that draws you away from God without you even really realizing it. 

Even the psalmist Asaph almost fell for it, way back when. Hear him from Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness: ‘But as for me, my feet were almost gone (had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful) when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

For there are no bands (pangs or pain) in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain (serves as a necklace); violence covers them as a garment. 

Their eyes stand out with fatness (bulge with abundance): they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt (scoff), and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily (proudly). They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.’ (Ps.73:2-9) 

Ah friends, nothing has changed since the days of Asaph so long ago, except that the wicked has gotten even more wicked and more prosperous, and their lure even more desirous and deceitful. It’s not easy to see them prospering and turn away from their evil deeds, but as Christians we should, and can do it with the Lord’s help. 

And remember what Cousin Sol says earlier on in Proverbs 11: ‘The righteousness of the perfect (blameless) shall direct his way (make his way smooth or straight): but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness (lust). 

When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead (trouble comes to the wicked instead).’ (Prov.11:5-8) 

Yuh see people, the wicked might have the upper hand in this world in regards to power and worldly wealth, but it will profit them nothing in the long run, because they, and all that they have will be destroyed,  for there is nothing that the Lord God Almighty despises like evil and evil doers. 

So let’s try and we wise nuh, and not be numbered amongst that lot. And we can begin by declaring our Wednesday Wail, which describes our position in the realm of God. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s stand steadfast and strong in that belief, for it’s wisdom at it’s zenith! Much LOVE!

…wickedness may prosper for a season…but righteousness will prosper for eternity…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Aye mih breddren, Saturday has rolled around once again! What are your plans eh? I know I’m not planning to do much of anything productive. It will be mostly a day of rest and relaxation, especially if it’s another nice one like the last few. And it’s supposed to go up to around thirty degrees Celsius. 

Mama yo! Many will now complain that it’s too hot, and the a/c will be blasting cold air. But many others will also break out the sunscreen lotion and work on their tans. It’s a good thing that my tan is natural yes, I don’t have to work at it. (smile) Thank You Lord! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm offered this week nuh, in his marvelous effort to inspire us to aspire to a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Without action you aren’t going anywhere. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.’ 

And is that ever so true and rather appropriate to our Christian faith my brethren, because we’re certainly doing more talking, more preaching, rather than putting the preaching into action, as is most necessary in this lost and evil world. 

Then he tells us: ‘Forgive and let it go. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ I guess you have to be strong to be able to forgive and let go of hurts inflicted by others. And the eye for an eye thing will certainly make the world blind. 

What did Jesus have to say about the blind leading the blind? ‘And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) Gospel truth that! For Jesus doesn’t lie. 

This next quote is a bit touchy. ‘You are in control. Nobody can hurt you without your permission.’ Technically speaking it’s true, we allow others to hurt us. But when someone does dreadful things to us, it’s not that easy to say ‘I won’t let them hurt me,’ and just turn off the hurt. 

The penultimate quote advises: ‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ The only problem there is that our current ocean of humanity has much much more than just a few dirty drops in it. 

And I’ve left the best for last. ‘A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.’ More gospel truth friends! And there’s no better example of that than our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at all He did for us nuh, all the ‘sufferation’ He endured on our behalf, and from then to now, He’s never gotten the plaudits He so rightfully deserves. But he didn’t do what he did for praise and glory, but for LOVE! Can you imagine it? Hn! Most of our leaders today are simply out for their own glorification. 

However our Bit declares of Jesus: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

The Father really put Him between a rock and a hard place, but He did what He had to do without a lot of complaining. No, it wasn’t easy, even for Him as the Son of God, but it’s what the Father desired, and He wanted to please the Father. Oh, how I wish that more of us supposed Christians could feel the same way; simply desirous of pleasing the Father and doing what He asks of us without a lot of hemming and hawing. That would be the day! 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living a true Christian life, but when we put our minds to it, with the help of God, it is certainly exciting and adventurous. And I’m not talking from hearsay there, but from personal experience. 

And all I want to do today is highlight a couple of scripture verses that enhance our Bit, from the magnificent prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 53, re the Suffering servant. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men: a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement (discipline, self-control) of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:3-6) 

Yes friends, our leader showed us the way, by walking His talk with strength of purpose. He bore our sinful burdens selflessly and gave us His peace and righteousness. Now why can’t we just live up to the little He asks of us eh…to LOVE the Father, LOVE ourselves, not in a narcissist manner, and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? 

Is that so hard to do my Christian brethren? What a wonderful world we’d truly have! And there would be supreme joy both in heaven and on earth! Let’s try and make that a reality nuh my people. With God’s help it’s possible. But we have to sincerely want to do it and then put out the great effort necessary. Much LOVE!

…that tremendous gift of atonement…paid for with Jesus’ blood…should have us chomping at the bit…to do God’s bidding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2014 Mark 9:23

Mark 9:23.     Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Well well my Canadian Friends and Neighbours, the party done now! Thanksgiving Day is over now, although the practice of thanksgiving must be an ongoing movement. I hope we all had a good time, we didn’t over do it, and the Lord was pleased with our devotions.
 
I didn’t do much myself, just had a quiet day, since we had our small family festivities on Sunday. And furthermore, the weather in my area didn’t lend itself to any raucous celebrations –cloudy and unfriendly – although I know that didn’t stop a whole lot of others from being raucous and rambunctious. (smile)
 
I surely hope that we didn’t give Lucifer and his evil compadres any space for advancement in our souls, but most importantly, for those of you who sang our Monday Morning battle Hymn so boisterously yesterday morning, knowing that you did not have to go to work, I certainly hope that you all have the wherewithal to go out and labour this Tuesday morning after the festivities. (smile) Yuh know it always catches up to us.
 
Now let’s take a gander at our Bit. ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’
 
It deals with faith and belief, and today we’re going to look at situations of faith, of people coming to Jesus for help through some kind of inbred faith, some of which astonished even Jesus.
 
But before we get into the scriptures, let’s hear a word on the subject from Gramps Schuller – Dr. Robert H. Schuller – from his Hour of Power Devotional.
 
It’s titled ‘FAITH’ and it says: ‘Lord, I believe in the sun, even when it is behind the clouds; in the seed, even when it lies unsprouted under the ground; in faith, even when I have been betrayed; in LOVE, even when I have been rejected; in hope, even when I have been hurt; in God, even when you do not answer my prayers. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what it means to have faith! Even when things aren’t going your way, you still stand strong in your belief in Jesus.
 
Now let’s look at the particular situation which occasioned our Bit from Jesus. A sorrowful father had brought his young son to the disciples for healing. The lad was infected by a dumb (mute) spirit, which caused him to have crazy, dangerous seizures, but the disciples couldn’t heal him. (Mark 9:17-18)
 
Jesus’ response was: ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer (bear with) you? Bring him unto me.’ (Mark 9:19)
 
And as the Lord would have it, the youngster had a seizure as soon as they brought him before Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child (from childhood). And oftimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.’ (Mark 9:21-22)
 
That’s when Jesus repeated the words of our Bit: ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.’ (Mark 9:23-24)
 
Yes my people, in some form and fashion, deep down the father believed, that’s why he brought his son to the disciples in the first place.
 
The scholars; describe it thus: ‘9:24. He had a certain faith; but it was confession of his undeniable inner turmoil and doubt that marked his faltering faith as truly authentic, if imperfect, trust. Before God honesty is a wise course.’
 
That last sentence is gospel truth my brethren! If we are anything less than totally honest with God, we’re simply wasting our time, for remember He reads the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions.
 
Jesus healed the lad right there and then. He had no choice, since the father had backed Him into a corner with his declaration of apparently sincere though confused and troubled faith.
 
But later on, in private, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the spirit, He answered them: ‘This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’ (Mark 9:29)
 
And the scholars have an interesting comment on that verse: ‘9:29. While some manuscripts omit fasting, it seems crucial to the context. Jesus does not seem to have resorted to prayer in the course of this healing. Perhaps he refers to a life-style of prevailing prayer that yields a reservoir of spiritual power for just such a crisis as this.’
 
Who knows Friends? But to influence spiritual power, prayer and fasting, in a serious and sincere manner, are of the utmost importance!
 
And I believe we have time for one more example of strong faith and belief. Jesus was on His way to raise the daughter of a Jewish ruler Jairus, when this situation occurred.
 
‘And a certain woman, which had an issue (a flow) of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered (no better), but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press (crowd) behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.’
 
(Scholars note: Popular belief had it that a person’s dignity and power extend to what he wears.) ‘And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague (affliction). And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press (crowd), and said, Who touched my clothes?
 
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5: 25-34)
 
Oh my people, what a great story! But back in those times it was a very dangerous game that the woman played.
 
Listen to the scholars explain: ‘5:33. The woman would be fearful of a rebuke, since her bleeding rendered her “unclean” according to Jewish law. She ought not to have been mixing in the crowd, nor reaching out purposely to touch a man. That she owned up openly indicates that her interest lay not only in physical health: she wanted to be right with Jesus Himself. Her faith, not the grasp of her hand, brought restoration to her.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s the power of faith! So today, while we go about the Lord’s business, please let us embrace a faith as strong and as courageous as the folks we’ve read about, and let’s allow it come out, to show in all our words and actions, because that’s our duty as ambassadors for Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…like the woman with the issue of blood…let’s bow down and confess to Jesus…so that we can be made right with Him…
 
P.S. Oh Friends, it’s long and late, but it’s beautiful! (smile) Much LOVE!