Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

And the world continues to unfurl as it should; that’s according to Almighty God’s universal plan! Oh, for sure we don’t understand it; why all the strife, anger, hatred, poverty, sickness and economic deprivation eh? 

But we need to understand that God’s mind and ways are so much higher, bigger and greater than ours, so that if He even explained it to us, we would not be able to understand it with our comparatively puny and finite minds. And all we really need to be concerned about is simply doing whatever He asks us to do, both as individuals and as the body of Christ, His Holy Church. Amen! 

That’s why the workingman doesn’t pay too much attention to the strife-filled world we currently live in, even on Friday the 13. (smile) Hear him sing his weekend song. “TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And I don’t care whether it’s Friday the 13th, or whatever other day they have with a set of poppycock notions about evil befalling you if you do some foolishness like walking under a ladder, or a black cat crossing your path! That’s pure nonsense! 

But let them believe whatever they want yes! That’s their business! All I know is that we going to be eating and drinking and having a good time once it’s a Friday and the weekend and we have some time off from the massa slave-work. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, it’s indeed Friday the 13th, and a lot of superstition is going to be running rampant today. It’s a good thing, that like the ordinary workingman, we are not troubled by such stuff. We too are going to celebrate the weekend, but not just to the outrageous limits that he does. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, which tells exactly how we will spend our weekend. 

In unison now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, ours is a much more relaxed and responsible kind of weekend, preparing ourselves to go back out and do Jesus’ work the next week. If we overdo the weekend, then we’ll be of no use whatsoever to ourselves or to Him. And you must have noticed that we’re still on the compassion Bit. (smile) 

Well that’s because there are so many scriptures on compassion and it’s oh so important in our Christian faith and we are definitely not as good at it as we ought to be. Just look at our topsy-turvy world nuh! Don’t you think that if we had just a bit more compassion circulating in it that it would be a much more wonderful place to live? It surely would be! 

Here’s what Jesus wants, what He came to earth and practiced and died for; so that we could have compassion on each other, forgive others the way that God forgives us. And remember His words: ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:15) That puts it so plain and straightforward; if you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven. And showing compassion is just one part of the plan. 

Listen to how Jeremiah puts it. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that seeing that scripture every day for the last few days has caused our compassion meter to rise up some, else these messages would be all for nought. But let’s get to the compassion scriptures before time and space run out on us. Listen to the Good Book, re our Lord and Saviour, the Master of compassion. 

‘And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt (are willing), thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.’ (Mark 1:40-42) Glory be mih breddren! How wonderful is our Saviour eh? Most wonderful! 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:40. The leper assumes a respectful, if plaintive, posture. His beseeching is not based on Jesus’ ability but on His willingness.’ Yuh see friends, even the leper knew and recognized Jesus as the Great Healer. He didn’t doubt that He could heal, just whether He was willing to. 

Unfortunately though, many of us believers today don’t have the kind of faith that leper had, and are not completely convinced that Jesus could heal us even in these times of calamity and untold frustration. How sad! 

‘1:41. Jesus is moved with compassion to help. Mark’s picture of Jesus is not of an unmoved problem-solver sweeping serenely and unemotionally from incident to incident. See Hebrews 4:15.’ 

No friends, our Jesus was, and is as emotional as one can get! And we’ll end today with that most appropriate scripture the scholars just quoted, because I know most of us won’t look it up, and it’s very important to our understanding of Jesus and our faith. 

‘Seeing then that we have a high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:14-16) 

Oh mih people, there’s no better remedy for our problems than taking them to Jesus in prayer, because He experienced temptation and frustration just like we do, but in His status as God too, He did not sin. That’s why He could pay for our sins and now sits as an intercessor for us at the right hand of God, being able to empathize with our earthly problems. Won’t you come to Him today, and experience His compassion. It’s the antidote for all that ails you. Much LOVE!

…in earthly or heavenly form…Jesus just exudes compassion…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh Friends, I think yesterday I was doing some star gazing when I wrote ‘TGIM” instead of ‘TGIF,’ at the beginning of the Bit. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but thanks to my first born, I was apprised of the situation soon after I posted it. I guess I was gazing into the future, seeing a time when we believers would routinely be rejoicing on Mondays for the glorious opportunity to go back out to work and fight tooth and nail for Jesus.
 
Please accept my apologies for being so previous. (smile) But remember we need to live by faith and not by sight, and to call things that are not, as though they are. And I’m still full of hope that that scenario will eventually come to pass, possibly not in my lifetime, except I live a very long life. I’m putting my faith in the next generation, that they will do better than us, otherwise crapaud will surely smoke their pipe. (smile) That just means that things will be real bad with them.
 
And today we’re going to start looking again at some of God’s promises, and this one in our Bit is a pretty big one; one of the biggest. But before we get to it, let’s get some background. In John’s first letter, he seeks to convince his readers about the reality of salvation and eternal life. And in the section from which our Bit is taken, he’s dealing with sin, its reality and its remedy.
 
He begins there by saying: ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ (1 John 1:8)
 
To which the scholars write: ‘1:8. Others seem to have been claiming that they had no sin. Jesus had taught that those who owned up to their sin could find forgiveness, while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it. (cf. John 9:41)’
 
Hence John pens our Bit: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
And the scholars take on that is: ‘1:9. This is a restatement of verse 7. We ought not to deny our sins (v 8), but rather to confess them before God. This opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts. Unrighteousness is another way of saying ‘sin.’
 
And verse 7 comes from the earlier section where John is talking about God being light, with no darkness, but we’ll go from verse 6, to get the full context. ‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness (sin), we lie, and do not (practice) the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:6-7)
 
To which the scholars explain: ‘1:7. “God is light” (v.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf. Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! It’s only the shed blood of Jesus that gives us any reprieve from the burden of our sins!
 
Thus John continues: ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:10)
 
Meaning: ‘1:10. To deny one’s sinfulness (v.8) or sins is not just to deceive oneself; it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin (e.g. Job 4:17; Ps. 14:3; Is.53:6; Rom. 3:10-18, 23).’
 
I’ll leave you all to look up those references, except the last one, which admirably drives home the point. ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.8:23)
 
And that my brethren is an inescapable fact! But again, we have such a wonderful God, who instead of giving us our just desserts for our sins; death, in His LOVING-kindness He devised a way-out plan so that He could lavish salvation and eternal life on us instead. Wow!
 
Now why would I want to bow down and worship any other God eh? No way Jose!
 
And our God is so thoughtful and kind that He made it very easy for us; just confess that you’re a sinner, believe in His crucified Son Jesus Christ, accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, and salvation and eternal life are yours. Your name’s automatically written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
 
Now that’s such a wonderful promise Friends, that some people can’t handle it. But the saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is, only applies to the things of man and of the world, not to the promises of our ever-faithful, omnipotent God. 
 

So please let’s not allow the prince of darkness and deceit, the ruler of this sinful world, Lucifer, to bamboozle us into thinking that there’s no hope for us. There IS LOTS OF HOPE when we put our faith and trust in the safe and secure hands of Almighty God, through our Lord, Saviour and heavenly Advocate, Jesus Christ! That’s the undeniable truth my Friends! Much LOVE!
 
…there’s no better place to be than…standing…standing…standing on the promises of God… 
 
P.S.   I hope you all notice how short it is today, (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2013 Jeremiah 17:9

Jeremiah 17:9.   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
Oh Friends, morning is breaking, just like all those other mornings of the past! And to sweeten matters, God’s daily blessings are also being prepared anew – no stale stuff – as has been done each and every day, right down through the ages. So our daily bread is on its way, accompanied by new mercy and forgiveness. What an awesome package that is my people!
 
And all God’s children declared a loud, joyous and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for Your overwhelming generosity and LOVING-kindness! We LOVE You Lord, and praise Your Holy Name! Please help us to continue serving and worshipping You with fullness of hearts, souls, bodies and minds. Amen.’ 
 
Yes my Friends, our God is ever-faithful and generous to us, although we don’t deserve it. But that’s just the kind of Deity He is; that’s just the kind of heart He possesses. The problem though is that our honesty and faithfulness cannot be guaranteed. For as our Bit so wisely declares: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’
 
And the answer to that rather imposing question my brethren, is ONLY Jehovah God!
 
That’s because our hearts are naturally inclined to deceit and selfishness. It can get so bad, that at times we even fool ourselves, thinking that we have such wonderful and upright hearts, only to later discover the true wickedness buried deep in them.
 
Cousin Sol, in describing a worthless and wicked man, said it a long time ago. ‘Frowardness (perversity) is in his heart, he deviseth mischief (evil) continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.’ (Prov.6:14-15)
 
And sadly Friends, that’s a rather apt and appropriate description of a great number of humans on God’s great earth, including many so-called believers. No wonder our world is in the sorry state it’s in!
 
Jesus Himself, on the subject of good and corrupt fruit, had this to say re our hearts. ‘O generation (brood, offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35)
 
And if anybody should know about that sort of thing, it’s certainly Jesus!
 
Then later on, in explaining what defiles, Jesus says: ‘That which cometh out of the man defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness (licentiousness), an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ (Mark 7:20-23)
 
Ah mih people, I guess Jesus condemns us all right there, since we all are guilty of at least one or more of those misdeed, and they all stem from what’s happening down in the depths of our souls.
 
Now listen to the scholars: ‘Many apparently thought that the food itself forbidden by parts of the Old Testament (see, e.g. Lev.11) rendered the eater unclean. Jesus is not challenging the accuracy of the Old Testament. He is pointing out that what one produces from, not what he takes into, himself is the essence of the human sin.
 
In context, Jesus is pointing out the futility of seeking spiritual salvation by means of ritual observances, like dietary laws, which are incapable of purifying the heart (i.e., the moral life) A clean heart is something different from a properly cared for digestive tract.’
 
And while declaring that all things come to the righteous and to the wicked, the Preacher imparts this bit of wisdom. ‘This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.’ (Eccl. 9:3)
 
But why is the heart so maligned eh? That’s partly because as the scholars explain: ‘Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.
 
The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life. The heart is the seat of intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself.
 
The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defiling them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12). Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First ref. Gen.6:5; Primary ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15) 
 
Please note that I’ve quoted several of the references the scholars gave us, so you shouldn’t have any problems reading the rest. (smile) Remember though that the references are for our benefit; to help us better understand the scriptures.
 
And we’ll end with this rather appropriate reference from Cousin Sol. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 
 
Yes Friends, it all begins in the heart and the mind, and then spreads like wildfire after that! So to avoid all the evil and ungodly things that we can become involved in to our detriment, we need to guard our thinking and emotions very carefully, otherwise we’ll certainly get caught up in plenty calamity.
 
And that definitely doesn’t smack of that most worthwhile attribute called wisdom. So let’s consider ourselves warned. Much LOVE!.
 
..to him that hath ears…let him hear…or else he’ll pay an exorbitant price for his disobedience…