Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 November 2021 Psalm 84:12.

Psalm 84:12.     O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Now, since each day unerringly follows the other, like the moon automatically follows the sun, today had to be Monday because yesterday was Sunday, when we gathered in worship and the Lord refreshed and strengthened us to begin the new workweek with a strong fighting spirit, seeking nothing but victory for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His righteous kingdom! 

And yes, I know that’s a long, convoluted sentence, but sometimes those sentences are good, because they get us to stop and think about what they really mean, especially in this age of the short attention span, where we don’t have to use our brains to figure out anything, since it’s laid out right on a silver platter, short and sweet for us. But please remember that old saying, ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people. If we don’t use our God-given gifts, they will atrophy and eventually become useless. 

And sadly, that’s where our world is headed right now, what with things like robots, artificial intelligence and self-driven vehicles becoming more a part of our everyday life. Soon we won’t have to do anything for ourselves and consequently we’ll lose the use of most of our faculties. In fact, a lot of us have already begun losing the use of many of our faculties with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic where we were isolated for a long period of time. That only lead to a higher than normal amount of fear, anxiety, depression, mental illness and domestic abuse. 

But since the pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, we desperately need to have a strategy in place to help us cope with all the negative stuff that’s currently circulating in our world. Now my brethren, the only avenue I see open and able to deal with our situation is living for Jesus! That’s the long and short of the story! Jesus is the ONLY One who can help us to successfully handle all the negativity that’s coming against us at this present time. 

And what grounds do I have for saying so. Listen to these encouraging and uplifting words of the psalmist. He positively proclaims: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps. 84:11-12) 

Wow friends! What a marvellous declaration! That’s why we believe, or rather we know that those who worship the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be able to withstand anything that comes against them. The Lord God Himself has promised it. As Jeremiah declared: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) And we all know that Jehovah God keeps ALL of His promises! He’s not reneged on a single one down through the ages. 

However, to command His marvellous benefits, we need to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. And with the free will He’s given us, it’s our choice, our decision to make. Please note though, these most important words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (witness) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) And that charge still stands today my people! 

We still have the free will, the opportunity to choose life or death, blessing or cursing. Unfortunately though, many of us seem to be choosing death and cursing over life and blessing by refusing to follow the Lord, to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. That’s a totally unwise decision friends, one that we will pay for in the long run when we are eternally separated from God, and cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the prince of darkness and disobedience. 

Remember, what Bruh Paul said about disobedience: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is sternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) And just like the Lord keeps the good promises, He also keeps the tough ones. So, there will be no getting away in the end if you don’t walk uprightly and follow His Son Jesus. 

And that’s the very reason He sent Jesus to die on the cross. Hear Jesus tell it nuh. ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) And that’s it in a nutshell. If you don’t believe in Christ, you will perish, as simple as that. 

And friends, from personal experience, I can tell you that though living for Jesus might seem difficult in this evil and ungodly world, the reality is that He gives you the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against you. He won’t always make life easy, but He will enable you to handle life. No other supposed deity can sincerely and successfully promise that. So I plead with you, please rethink your options, and if you haven’t already chosen Jesus, please do so asap, in fact right now, because tomorrow, or even later, could be too late. 

So, let’s go to the Lord in prayer, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and sincerely open up our hearts and souls to Him, pleading for His help. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, if we want the Lord to keep His promises, it behooves us to keep ours. Much LOVE!

…free will is good…but only if used wisely…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Happy First Day of Spring friends! Yes, today is the official first day of spring, and what a gorgeous day it is in my neighbourhood! So it’s somewhat chilly…so what? Once the sun and SON are shining brightly, it doesn’t matter what else is happening. And besides, from now on, the weather picture is all heads up, no tails! (smile) 

Spring has finally been sprung from its winter lair! Thank God for His awesome mercy! Soon there will be no more snow and heavy winter clothing to put on and cart around…Thank the Lord again! 

And on a point of interest, it seems as though one of these self-driving cars we’re touting so much and are so quickly trying to build, has killed a woman in Arizona trying to cross the road. Ah Lord eh! Why are we in such a hurry to replace ourselves and make us extinct eh? 

Everything we’re working on is autonomous; self-driving cars and trucks, self-flying planes, not to talk about robots taking over most of the functions that humans are supposed to do. Can’t we see that God’s greatest creation is foolishly trying to kill itself off either through horrible collisions, or just through laziness and having nothing to do? 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m NOT going in any car that doesn’t have a driver at the wheel, or a plane that has no pilot at the controls! I’ll take my chances with people, not with artificial intelligence. End of sermon! (smile)  

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to change our mood and lift our spirits this glorious Tuesday. The title simply says ‘It’s Good.’  

Please pray with me. ‘God, it’s good to be LOVED by You! The breathtaking knowledge Of Your life-giving LOVE Rings chimes in my tremulous heart. It fashions eternal declarations Out of unsettled questions. It creates a majestic life symphony From a solitary note. GOD IT’S GOOD TO BE LOVED BY YOU!’ 

And is it ever? If you don’t know the LOVE of God, then you’re missing the best part of life. For without His awesome and amazing LOVE percolating in our souls, and bodies, we’re nothing but another wild animal without any sense of purpose or reason. And that’s why our world is in such a mess; the LOVE of God is absent from too many of our lives! 

That brings us to our Bit, the Bible verse associated with the poem above. It’s taken from Psalm 89 – A Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite declaring ‘God’s sure promises to David. And it joyfully proclaims: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 

For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.   Selah.’ (Ps.89:1-4) 

And that is exactly what the Lord has done! He has established the kingdom of Jesus, Bruh David’s descendant, and by His great mercy and LOVE, we are a part of that awesome gathering. Glory to God my brethren! For without His faithfulness, we’d still be living under the sinful law of man, and not God’s unconditional LOVE. Bless His holy name for all of His goodness to us my people! 

No wonder, Ethan, the psalmist continues in such glowing terms: ‘And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab (Egypt) in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them.’ (Ps.89:5-11) 

Yes friends, on this first day of spring, I believe it’s only wise that we begin spring-cleaning in our hearts and souls. Let’s throw out all the old, false winter stuff and renew our minds with the wonderful LOVE of God that He has shed abroad for our eternal benefit. That’s wisdom personified! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison and harmony 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!’ 

And the next move is for us to actually go out and share that amazing LOVE of our friend Jesus with those who don’t know about it, or Him! Let’s make known His faithfulness to all generations. Happy LOVE sharing! Much LOVE!

…blessed are those…who sincerely share Jesus’ gospel of peace and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And as been happening for thousands of years friends, Saturday comes after Friday, just like night follows day and vice versa. (smile) But Saturday is the day to do the household chores and shopping after a busy week of work. Then, come the evening hours, it’s party time! 

Many of us though simply lie on the couch eating junk food, imbibing alcoholic beverages and watching the boob tube all weekend. Now that is certainly not a healthy lifestyle my people. And that is partly why our society is suffering from such a high rate of obesity; lack of exercise, too much sedentary posing and posture and too much junk food. 

A lot of that is brought on by our high degree of technology, with the ever- spreading and ever-dangerous tentacles of our social media, where we sit for hours in front of a computer screen or some little hand-held device, texting and playing games and getting ourselves in trouble by posting selfies and other garbage on the media platforms. 

And the next big thing will be robots who communicate like men.  How much longer do you think we’ll last after that eh my brethren? Not long, for we are already obese and sedentary, and sensible robots will only make us more so, when we can order them around like servants. 

Please remember what a wise man once said; ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And friends that is exactly where we’re heading. Eventually, when life gets so easy, we’ll lose the use of our brains and our limbs because we won’t have to use them. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when children, and a lot of adults too, spent much more time doing stuff outdoors than happens now. But I guess they call that progress, so who am I to question it eh? (smile) 

So let me turn you over to someone else, our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We haven’t heard from him for some time, so we’ll share two of his brilliant insights. And the first quote says: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ And the second declares: ‘It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.’ 

Ah friends, both of those sayings contain oodles of truth, as many of us can attest from our own experience. But we either try to resist sensible change because it discommodes us, upsets our comfort level, and we’re not willing to pay the higher price either. 

And we all had nicknames at some stage in our lives, many of which we never liked and hopefully never responded to. And most of the time, the ones we never responded to seldom stuck. 

Now however, we are known by the fabulous name of Christian; a believer in and a follower of Christ! And that is a name to which should always proudly answer to, although many of us are ashamed of it and try to hide our affiliation. But remember friends, Christ said that if you’re ashamed of Him, deny Him and don’t own up to your affiliation with Him, He’ll do the same thing to you. (Matt.10:32-33) So it’s up to each of us to decide our own fate. 

And that falls right in line with our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yes my Christian people, as true followers of Christ we must be seen to be not only hearers and talkers, but even more importantly doers! Unfortunately though, the world doesn’t look upon us like that, which brings us to the last verse in Jesus’ monologue on the law. 

‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) 

Now that’s hitting way below the belt my people, but Jesus always spoke truth, and we all know that the truth often hurts quite a bit. And it just goes to show how little He thought of the Jewish rulers.  

Let’s hear now what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:

Law                                                 Spirit                                                                                                                                       

No murder                                      No anger

No adultery                                       No lust

No divorce                                          Commitment

No oath taking                                     Speak the truth

No retaliation                                        Forgiveness

Hatred for your enemy                         LOVE for your enemy 

(tradition allowed it)                                   (commanded) 

Awright friends, enough for today. I know it’s Saturday and our minds are all played out by the hectic week of work. (smile) However you do see the comparison between the Mosaic Law and what Jesus desired spiritually. All of the old law still stood, except hatred for your enemy, which Jesus changed to LOVE. 

He basically refined them, moved them up to a higher, finer, more acute level. But the Ten Commandments still stood as the Basic law, and still do today.  So as Jesus said, He didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And as His followers, we ought to do the same in our own little way, and thus promote the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…the coming of Jesus…didn’t change the basic intent of God’s laws…they just became more refined…moved up to a higher level…