Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2020 Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8.    ​He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?
 

Well, well, well, we’ve gotten rid of Monday; overcome its fear and dread, and sent it to the dustbin of history, to cavort uselessly in the detritus of time! (smile) Now it’s time for us to eagerly embrace Tuesday’s purpose, which by the way, was, and is the same as Monday – to do God’s work in a diligent and excellent manner! Yes friends, the days, the months, the years might change, but our job, our earthly function is always to do the will of God, to do His bidding in a joyful, faithful and compassionate manner! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name, fear and reverence Him forever, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted! Amen!’ 

And my fellow believers (yeah!) you ask, what is the will of God? Well hear it is, in God’s own words. Moses said it on His behalf, like this: ‘And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes which I command thee this day for thy good (benefit, welfare).’ (Deut.10:12-13) 

And yes it is important to keep the commandments of God and all those other things, but possibly the most important part of Moses speech is the last part – ‘for thy good.’ Yes friends, all we’re asked to do is not because the Lord needs it, but because WE need it! It’s all for OUR benefit, OUR welfare. So if we’re too foolish, or not wise enough to appreciate that fact, then crapaud smoke we pipe! That’s the mistake so many humans have made, and are still making; thinking that we’re doing the Lord a favour when we do His bidding or keep His commandments. 

Steups! Look friends…Let’s wake up and smell the coffee yes! God doesn’t really need anything from us, cause He’s sitting quite comfortably in high heaven on His glorious throne running things, but we need EVERYTHING from Him, starting with His breath of life, His daily provision, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, LOVE…etc. etc…! Without any of those things, we’re all goners! 

Unfortunately though, we are behaving just like the Israelites did when the Lord admonished them through the prophet Hosea. ‘For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men (like Adam) have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.’ (Hos. 6:6-7) 

And believe me friends, when you transgress the Lord’s covenant, you WILL pay the price eventually. He might forgive us and all that, but please remember that sin and disobedience ALWAYS bear a hefty price tag! Just look at Israel’s first King, Saul. The Lord commanded him to destroy the Amalekites completely. ‘Now go and smite (attack) Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ (1 Sam.15:3) 

That means they were to be totally annihilated! But what did Saul do? He saved the king Agag, and the best of the Amalekites animals and worldly possessions. And when Samuel asked why he hadn’t followed the Lord’s instructions to the letter, Saul made excuses, as we always do, blaming the people for taking the plunder to sacrifice to the Lord. Thus Samuel admonished him with words that we all know, but still refuse to follow: 

‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23) Yuh see friends, Saul lost his crown because he did not completely obey the Lord. And like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say, partial obedience is still rebellion against God. (smile) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless (cf. Ps. 40:6-8; Is. 1:10-20; Mic. 6:8).’ What more can I say eh? Except to quote the age old passage from Micah, which is also our Bit for today. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ 

Oh my people, those are the basic requirements of our great and awesome, but EVER-LOVING God! Even Jesus referred to the words of Samuel, Hosea and Micah, twice to boot! The first is when the Pharisees complained about Him eating with publicans (tax-collectors) and sinners. ‘But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole (are well) need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Matt. 9:12-13) 

And again, when the disciples plucked some corn from the field to eat on the Sabbath and the Pharisees complained that that was not lawful, Jesus, after telling them how Bruh David and his men, when they were terribly hungry, ate bread which was supposed to be for priests only, and how the law shows that on the sabbath the priests in the temple profaned (made common) the sabbath, and yet are blameless. (Matt.12:1-5) 

‘But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have (desire) mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’ (Matt.12:6-8) Yeh friends, ours is not to just condemn, but rather to show justice and mercy! 

So let’s go home now having writ all of that indelibly in our hearts minds, bodies and souls, declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Mama Mia! What blessed people we are! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE of Jesus with the less fortunate nuh, for it’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…to be obedient to the Lord…is the believer’s unending pledge…and bounden duty…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2017 I Samuel 15:22.

1 Samuel 15:22.    And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Well friends, here it is at last, Tuesday’s Bit, as you know they say better late than never and the ole fella had a rough day to say the least. I don’t know whatever made me decide to take a sleeping pill last night, because it drove me up the wall, drove me crazy, as though I was taking acid and I was just there making noise, howling at the moon.

I was so tied up with it, that all during the day I couldn’t catch myself. I wanted to write the Bit early, but I just didn’t have the wherewithal to do it and then the powers that be came and took me away to do a test to see if my heart had any blockages or anything.

The good news is though that there are no blockages, just a weak heart. So we have to find out now how to handle that using medication and otherwise and the help of Number One obviously. Because between you and me people, from what the heart looks like, if it wasn’t for Number One I might not be around at all right now, so let’s give him thanks and praise for all that he has done for me, and I’m asking for some prayers so that the ole fella can get strong again and keep on doing what he was meant to do.

Anyway, the long and short of the story is that they jook up my right hand, my right wrist so I can’t use my right hand to do anything strenuous, that means that I’m here sitting down in the back of Recovery, dictating this to my young daughter so that she can type it out for me.

It’s not to say even that they jook up my left hand and I can use my right hand but them’s the breaks baby, at least we are going to get the Bit going, because you know that is the most important thing, neither rain, sleet, snow nor sickness supposed to stop the Bit.

So all you Scrip-Bit family and friends who have your knickers tied up in a knot, please untie them, the ole fella is alive, he might not be kicking too hard, but in due course he will be, so just relax yourself, offer up some prayers and let us do what we are supposed to do. Remember this is a new year and we all promised that we will follow Jesus more closely than ever, so let’s do that.

Now let’s turn to our Bit, the same as yesterday, because obedience is such a big part of following God: ‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren!

Listen to the psalmist Asaph, as he talks about God is the judge: ‘Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God, I will not reprove (rebuke thee) for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds; for every beast of the forest is mine and the cattle upon a thousand hills.’ (Ps.50:7-10).

So friends, whatever we give to God, is already God’s, so let’s not feel so euphoric when we make an offering to God.

And hear now, the punishment for Judah’s rebellion as declared by Jeremiah ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God and ye shall be my people and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ (Jer.7: 21-24).

And sadly the same thing is happening to us today, we talk plenty about God, but material things and the ways of the world, are what really control us.

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 51 – A Prayer for Cleansing – after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, Nathan called him out:

‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51:15-17).

Now friends, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, believing every word that we speak: ‘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!’ Much LOVE my people!

…The three most important things dealing with God…obedience… obedience… obedience…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2016 Ecclesiastes 5:1.

Ecclesiastes 5:1.    Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’

Awright friends, it’s Monday, so what’s it going to be eh? Are we going to be grumpy and complain, or are we going to rise and shine with a good, joy-filled attitude, ready and eager to go out and face this new workweek? The choice is up to us, but I do hope that as true believers in Jesus Christ we would adopt the latter option, for it is the more Christ-like one. 

However, I know that all of us are human, filled with human frailties, so it’s not every Monday morning  we’ll be filled with energy and enthusiasm to take the bull by the horns and wrestle him to the ground. (smile) 

That’s why we have an antidote for such days. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It gets us all fired up so we can meet the enemy head on and defeat him. 

So let’s sing out in full, harmonious and melodic voice now. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yes mih breddren, except for a few hoarse voices, that was a decent rendition. Our choirmaster, Jesus, had an amused twinkle in His eyes as He guided us with His baton. And once Jesus is happy with us, then all’s right with the world! (smile) 

So now that we’ve jump started our engines, let’s keep them running at high speed, keep the pedal to the metal, so to speak, and just go out there in a good frame of mind and do excellent work for Jesus, for that’s what He expects of us. 

And I do hope, for our sakes, we kept the wisdom of our Bit yesterday: ‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’ What awesome words of wisdom my fellow believers! 

And here’s how the Preacher ended that passage. ‘Suffer not (do not let) thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel (messenger) that it was an error, wherefore should God be angry at thy voice (excuse) and destroy the work of thy hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:6-7) 

Ah mih people, more wonderful words of wisdom! Yuh know, if we’d just follow the first 7 verses of that chapter, we’d be almost perfect! We can start by walking prudently, drawing near to hear, rather than that to expatiate, not give the sacrifice of fools, thinking that we’re not evil. That’s an awesome beginning! 

As Samuel admonished Saul when he disobeyed God’s order to fully destroy the Amalekites. ‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23)  

Yes friends, obedience to God’s word is the zenith of wisdom! And the scholars tell us, re those verses: ‘15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old Testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless (cf. Ps.40:6-8; Is.1:10-20; Mic.6:8).’ 

And that’s gospel truth! Why do you think the Lord checks our hearts instead of just simply accepting our outward show eh? Because He knows that the real you is on the inside, and it doesn’t necessarily match with what you are showing on the outside. Many of us today, are just like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time; put on a great religious outward show, but are empty and evil inside. 

Now let’s continue looking at those 7 verses at the start of chapter 5. The 2nd verse warns us not be rash with our mouths and make hasty statements to God; to let our words be few. Oh friends, what a godsend it would be to this world, if most of us would stop talking as much as we do! And that lines up nicely with the wisdom of verse 3; ‘a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’  

And we’ll end with the best advice; don’t make a promise to God and not keep it, because He doesn’t take pleasure in broken promises. It is better not to promise, than promise and not pay. And as I said yesterday, that also pertains to our dealings with fellow human beings. 

So let’s keep that in mind as we go out to labour today nuh, for it will certainly stand us in good stead, both with God and man. Much LOVE!

…it’s time Christians learn to do less talking and more listening…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2012 Proverbs 15:8

Proverbs 15:8.     The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
 
Buenos dias mi amigos! That’s Espanol, Spanish for Good Morning Friends! What a way the ole fella is waxing linguistically these days eh! (smile) But please don’t ask me to say much more than good morning or good evening cause the old brain, through lack of use, has forgotten most of the French and Spanish it once knew. Now just a gentle reminder for those who celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, that it’s very important we get together with other believers and encourage ourselves in our wonderful God with praise, thanksgiving and joyful worship. Remember Christ’s church is ONE body, though made up of many individual parts, and unless those parts work together in harmony, meaning believers working in faithful tandem, the body won’t progress, won’t stay strong and grow, but will regress and eventually fall apart like our human bodies do when we abuse or don’t take good care of them. And we certainly don’t want Christ’s church to fall apart, so, if at all possible, let’s get out today and celebrate the awesomeness of the God we so enthusiastically serve and worship. That brings us to our Bit: ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ That’s the living truth my people! The Lord doesn’t want anything to do with the wicked. Hear the scholars comment on it. ‘The best that the wicked can offer God religiously is completely rejected.’ And why not, since they are not sincere in their efforts. What the Lord desires more than anything else is sincerity in our dealing with Him, and for that matter, also with our fellow man. As our Bit rightly declares; ‘but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ And remember Friends, we can fool ourselves and each other, like the Pharisees, with our outward show of righteousness, but we can’t fool God, who looks at the motives of our hearts and not simply our outward actions. We all know the famous words of Samuel to Saul, when he disobeyed God’s orders to destroy all of the Amalekites and their property, but he saved the king, Agag, and allowed the people to keep spoil to offer blood sacrifice. ‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23) It’s the same relationship we cultivate with our children, where we want them to do as we ask, rather than what they think we want. And the scholars note that: ‘Those verses reinforce the Old Testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and a life of total allegiance to a sovereign LORD is worthless. (cf. Ps.40;6-8; Is.1:10-20; Mic.6:8)’ Absolute truth my people! And since I know many of you won’t look up the scriptures provided, I’ll include some of them here. In Psalm 40, Praise for answered prayer, Bruh David proclaims: ‘Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume (scroll) of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.’ (Ps.40:6-8) And that’s how it should be! Now listen to this excellent example of the ritual worship, when Isaiah calls to the people of Judah to repent. ”Hear the word of the Lord ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offering of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread (trample) my courts? Bring no more vain oblation (futile sacrifices); incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with (endure); it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.’ (Is.1:10-13) The scholars have an excellent commentary on that: ‘The prophet addressed the people of Judah as if they were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. His criticism of their hypocritical religion should not be taken as a rejection of the divinely ordained sacrificial system. Rather, it is a condemnation of their superficial worship. They were merely going through the ritual of religion with no real heart for God. Vain oblations are worthless offerings. Even the solemn meeting became nothing more than a sinful gathering because of their wrong motives.’ Unfortunately though Friends, a lot of that stuff is also happening today. Too many of us are just talking God, with no serious intent in our hearts, merely going through the outward motions. But that doesn’t sit well with our God at all. If there’s no genuine delight in Him, and a faithful following of His dictates, then all our prayers, sacrifices, etc, will be worthless. And we’ll close with the poignant words of Micah on the subject. ‘Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body (my own child) for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ (Mic.6:6-8) Nuff said my people! Please, let’s allow wisdom to lead and guide us in the dealings with our God. Much LOVE!…the words and actions of an insincere heart…will never get God’s attention…much less His approval…