Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 May 2022 Lamentations 3:31.

Lamentations 3:31.      For the Lord will not cast off for ever. 

Oh my people, it’s been a somewhat rough beginning to the Monday morning. For the last four or five days I’ve been plagued with some stomach problems, that’s why the Bit has been so late. It seems that if the stomach is not working properly, the mind won’t function well either. (smile) And thankfully, we are on the road to recovery…we hope. And the Lord in His great care and concern has just caused the duchess to bring me some porridge and dry toast to assist in alleviating the problem. Ah friends, between the both of them I certainly can’t go wrong. (smile) 

And that’s why, when the Good Book opened just now on this awesome scripture of promise, I simply had to use it. It comes from that awesome Chapter 3 of Jeremiah’s Lamentations, when he was undergoing some persecution and difficulties as he tried to do God’s work. However, despite his problems, at one stage he earnestly claimed: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.’ (Lam. 3:31-34) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, though our God might sometimes allow us to be smitten with the bread of affliction, He will never cast us off forever. Because that’s just not His nature, not His style; He’s a genuinely merciful, forgiving, caring and compassionate God. That’s who He is! And, if like me, today you are embroiled in some kind of difficulty that you can’t fix, or doesn’t seem to want to go away, then please do like me too and have hope, be a ‘prisoner of hope,’ turn to the Lord and sincerely ask for His help, for as the sons of Korah truthfully declare in Psalm 46: ‘God is our refuge  and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Ps. 46:1) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Our God is indeed an abundantly available help in time of trouble. And though He might not deliver us immediately, or the way we desire, He will help us get through whatever is dogging our footsteps. Don’t worry, I need to believe that too because this stomach problem is certainly painful and annoying, like a li’l mouse just gnawing away at my insides. But it’s also very distracting, not allowing me to concentrate properly on the things I seek to do. Anyway, with the Lord’s help, I know that it will eventually pass, and I will return to normal…it’s just taking so long though. (smile) 

That’s why we say, and believe, that this too shall pass. Jesus reminds us that ‘Heaven and earth, shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt. 24:35) And when we believe that, we gain the strength to understand and accept that our problems, though real and difficult, will not last forever. As one contributing writer to the website, ibelieve.com, Debbie McDaniel writes in an article on the subject. ‘The great news is this: God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in difficult times. He promises to be with us in all that we face, and His whole heart encompasses our pain, surrounds us in peace, and gives us incredible hope and grace to keep pressing through.’ 

Now that ought to reassure us and make us an even bigger prisoner of hope in God! And for those of us who are not familiar with the scripture about the prisoner of hope, it comes from the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy about Zion’s future king coming to bring peace and salvation: ‘lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9) And we know that prophecy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the sign of peace when kings entered a territory. 

Then to encourage his listeners, Zechariah later said: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) Yes friends, our stronghold is the Lord God Jehovah, and if we will become a prisoner of hope in Him today, that is, remain hopeful despite our less than favourable circumstances, in due course He will give us double for our trouble. Like Isaiah said of the Lord in his good tidings of salvation. ‘…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’ (Is. 61:3) 

Oh my fellow saints, our very existence is all about the glorification and honour of our great God, and until we truly appreciate that fact and let it guide our lives, we will not enjoy the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. And to help us come to that awesome realization, let’s approach the throne of grace in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting heaven know of our needs and desires. 

As one voice: ‘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, let’s remember, that if we hope to receive positive answers to our supplications, then we need to keep the promises that we’ve made. Much LOVE!

…hope springs eternal…and while there is life…there’s ALWAYS hope… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 April 2022 Matthew 26:26.

Matthew 26:26.     ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.’ 

Oh friends, on this Holy Thursday morning of 2022, with the weather playing musical chairs out there; first wet and cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy, I want to open today with a big apology. I humbly apologize for labelling yesterday’s Bit as the 12th instead of the 13th of April. I don’t know how many of you noticed that, but I didn’t either. And the truth is that I scrutinize the Bit, especially the headings before I send it out. And I remember doing just that yesterday. But I guess that the Lord was trying to show me that I am human and thus liable to make mistakes even when looking for them. (smile)  

But you can’t imagine my displeasure when I opened my computer this morning and found two Bits with the same date. I couldn’t see it yesterday, but it was quite obvious today. Ah Lord eh! Anyway, there are more important things to consider today, than my making a mistake yesterday. Let’s hope though that I learn from it. (smile) And today being Holy Thursday, it’s important that we consider the passion of Christ on that fateful evening before His crucifixion when He held the Passover supper with His disciples. 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘Now when the even (evening) was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: (Isaiah 53- The suffering servant) but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He (Jesus) said unto him, Thou hast said (it).’ (Matt. 26:20-25) 

No doubt that set the tempo, the atmosphere for the evening. With betrayal in the air, and Jesus having already told them about His upcoming death, it could not have been a comfortable or joyful occasion, especially after Jesus acknowledged that Judas was His betrayer. And the scholars tell us that ‘the statement He that dippeth reveals the personal and intimate nature of the betrayal.’ And so it should, with such a close-knit group. The Good Book then continues: ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.’ (Matt. 26:26) 

Now that was a momentous occasion, for according to the scholars: ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover feast. Jesus gave a whole new significance to the action, when He said, ‘This is my body,’ for during that meal, the head of the Jewish household took the bread in his hand and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning, of course, that one represented the other. By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death.’ 

And that’s how we now view the breaking of bread in the Holy Communion. But it didn’t end there though, because according to the Good Book: ‘And he (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you). For this is my blood of the new testament (covenant), which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.’ (Matt. 26:27-30) 

Yes my people, that ceremony now of breaking bread and drinking wine which we call Holy Communion is a celebration of what is, that’s Christ’s death, and what is to come, His triumphant return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, when peace and LOVE will become a factual and established, not imagined way of life! 

And the scholars offer a couple of interesting explanations. Re, ‘My blood of the new testament (covenant),’ they say that it’s taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8., which reads: ‘And Moses took the blood, (of oxen) and sprinkled it on the people, and said, behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.’ (Ex. 24:8) 

The scholars explain that thus: ‘The blood of the covenant is the terminology from which the Old Testament (or covenant) gets its name. Because Israel failed to keep this conditional covenant of works, God promised through Jeremiah the institution of an unconditional covenant of grace (Jer. 31:31-34), which will be fulfilled in Israel during the Great Tribulation. But this covenant of grace is based upon the atoning work of Christ, and for this reason the church also participates in it through His blood (Luke 22:20; Heb. 8:6-13, 9:15-18; 12:24).’ 

Please take a moment and read those scriptures, they are very interesting and help us to better understand the way which Christ changed up things with His death and resurrection. And it all just shows the amazing compassion of our great God! We could not do the works detailed in the old covenant, so He promised a new one, but this through grace, rather than works, accomplished through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ atoning for our disobedience. 

And the scholars tell us that Jesus words in the Last Supper: ‘Shed for many for the remission of sins,’ is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so. Please remember: ‘For the wages of sin is death, (eternal separation) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

And now that we have a li’l better understanding of the Holy Communion ceremony, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord in His grace and mercy has so generously bestowed on us, remembering the passion of Christ and all that He suffered on our behalf. As one strong and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

We are now expected to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…the passion of Christ…should ignite in us…a passion for Him… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8