Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.    My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Welcome friends, welcome to another great day on God’s great earth! Wow! Both the SON and the Sun are shining brightly; the latter so bright that if you’re not careful you can be blinded by its reflection off the white snow. (smile) Is it ever a joy and a pleasure to be alive to see another day! 

Please give our wonderful God much praise and thanks for the breath we’re still drawing in these turbulent times, for without Him we’d surely be faltering in the darkness of an evil and ungodly world. 

And can you imagine the bacchanal that ‘s taking place in places like T&T and Rio right now, at the height of the carnival season? Mama Yo! Fete fuh so! Everybody’s trying to get in as much partying as possible because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday…and then all the party done! (smile) 

Enough about partying though, let’s turn our attention to something that’s much more important and oh so lacking, but ever so necessary in our world, if it’s ever to run right; we’re talking about how to ‘Practice LOVING.’ That’s the name of the poem I want to share with us today from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray sincerely with me. ‘It is so simple, dear Lord So pleasant and comfortable To sit in church on a Sunday morning Listening to a sermon about LOVE – Perhaps even speculating a bit On whether my LOVE surpasses the LOVE Of the person to my right Or the Person to my left. 

But to LOVE with Your LOVE To practice LOVING, dear God How uncomfortable the church pew becomes When I hear this ringing challenge When I see Your gazing eyes. Suddenly I remember the vicious remarks Of the woman who misjudged me. I remember the unscrupulous associate Who finagled my husband’s job. I remember the careless driver Who totaled our shining new car. 

So quickly, Lord, I am faced With a haunting parade Of shameful, UNLOVING attitudes. God, You know me so much better Than I know my own complex self And still You continue to LOVE me. Give me, I pray, a fresh glimpse Of Your vast, immeasurable LOVE For it is only out of gratitude for Your LOVE That I shall finally learn What it means to practice LOVING.’ 

And isn’t that the everlasting truth my brethren! Only with God’s help can we truly practice LOVE! It’s something our world desperately lacks, but so badly needs! Just look at all the strife and war, the anger, hate and resentment that’s so blatant in our current societies. How could that ever be good for us eh? 

We need to come together rather then be split apart, and ONLY LOVE, or rather the PRACTICE OF LOVE, brings people together. And yes, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everybody will be spouting LOVE, but LOVE is not, cannot be a one Day Special, if it is to have any real and lasting effect, especially if fuelled by commercialism as Valentine’s Day is in our current society. 

Hence the command from the first epistle of John in our Bit: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ And as the scholars tell us: ‘3:18. In tongue refers to mere talk.’ And over the years I’ve tried to beat it into my children’s heads that you can’t talk LOVE, because LOVE is an action word! I hope you finally got the message mih LOVELIES! (smile)

Unfortunately though, when coming to LOVE, that’s all our world is about; TALK! We talk a very good talk about LOVE, but not enough of us walk the walk of true and sincere LOVE. And it’s not an easy thing to do, when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of injustices and other things which don’t normally bring out the emotion of LOVE. 

Our poem above points out some of those difficult times; vicious remarks from being misjudged, unscrupulous associates, and careless drivers. Those things certainly don’t bring out LOVE in a natural manner, but our God wants us to have that sort of response, because that’s His response to our own misdeeds. 

So LOVE is something we have to actively and consciously work at, especially since our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ so plainly and purposefully commanded. 

‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) 

Ah friends, obviously that doesn’t sit well with our normal sinful nature, but if we’re born again and are true believers, we need to adhere to the words of our Leader. And we know that anytime we flounder, all we have to do is to cry out to Him for help, and He will help us. So nothing He asks us to do is impossible. That’s why we can go home now sincerely declaring who and who’s we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice: ‘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!’ 

All glory to God my people! Now let’s go out and do exactly as we just said; share Jesus’ LOVE with the world. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…something we can never have enough of…