Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

One more rainy day, sleeping-in summer Saturday! And we sure are having a few of them. But who’s complaining eh? Certainly not me. (smile) I guess the Lord’s trying to make us appreciate the sunshine more when we do get it. And imagine, at nine o’clock on a summers’ day, the temperature is only 19 degrees. And this the height of summer. The weather patterns sure are changing. But thank God that One situation, or pattern NEVER changes: that’s Almighty God sitting strong and sure upon His heavenly throne controlling ALL things! Glory to God my faithful brethren! 

And by the way, I did not receive any quotes from our friend Anselm this week, so we just have to fly by the seat of our pants today. (smile) But the Lord has already pointed out the direction in which He wishes us to proceed; His unchanging and thus stable nature. And on the Pastor’s Corner Website, I found this interesting commentary on the subject by Brian Moore – not the one that some of us know (smile). 

It opens thus: ‘The God of the Bible never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That is why He is the only secure place man can put his faith and trust in. The fact that God is eternally unchanging makes Him unlike any other being in existence. Everything and everyone else in life changes constantly. Relationships change, people change, landscapes change, health changes, culture changes, etc. With everything around us changing so rapidly and our immediate future being filled with such uncertainty, we need to find an unchanging place to put our hope in. 

Lamentations 3:22-24 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I hope in Him!”” Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” God is unchanging in His existence, in His Attributes, and in His counsel. That is why He is where unshakeable hope comes from.’ 

And that’s the everlasting truth my people! Our God never changes, and because some of us don’t believe it, or still have some doubts, today we are going to look at some scriptures that authenticate that statement. We’ve already heard what Malachi and Jeremiah has to say, so let’s move on to Hebrews, and the author of that Book, which many believe was written by Bruh Paul, unequivocally says: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb. 13:8) 

Oh friends, you could not get any closer to unchanging than that! Meanwhile James, Jesus’ brother, tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) And the scholars add their two cents worth to James’ statement. 

On the Immutability of God, which James specifies in that verse, they say: ‘Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get any better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create, and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging, therefore, Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times, (First Ref. Ps. 9:7; Primary Ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2).’ 

Now a tidbit from Isaiah on the subject. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God will stand for ever.’ (Is. 40:8) Mama O Mama! What constancy and stability we have in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Now hear these remarkable, but oh so true words from the psalmist as he cries out for help to the Lord. 

‘I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.’ (Ps. 102:24-27) 

Oh my people, my people, how much more do we need to satisfy us that our God is not only good, LOVING, generous, merciful and kind, but also unchangeable eh?  And don’t think for one moment that we’ve run out of scripture that attest to that fact nuh. (smile) So listen up. The psalmist declares with sure authority: ‘The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ (Ps. 33:11-12) 

What wonderful assurance of stability! And doesn’t it make you feel like you’re riding on a cloud of joy, knowing that you are one of those people whom the unchangeable, everlasting, ever-LOVING God has chosen for His own inheritance? It ought to. And we can never leave out these marvellous words of Isaiah. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is. 40:28) 

What more can we ask eh friends? But just in case you still have doubts, let’s listen to Moses, who probably had more intimate dealings with God during his lifetime, than any other human being. He says in his only Psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (given birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps. 90:1-2) 

And yuh know what everlasting means mih people; never-ending, endless, without end, perpetual, undying…that means forever! So, if you want something or someone to hold on to that does not change or die, then the Lord God of Israel is the One to hold on to. 

And we are going to end with the best scripture of all time: ‘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.’ (John 3:16) And that’s the crowning scripture my fellow saints in Christ, for without that magnanimous gesture on the part of our great God, everything else is meaningless. 

So please, let’s not allow it go to waste nuh, let’s accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, so that we can dwell with Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit right down through eternity. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…our God is a rock…a fortress… a strong foundation…on which to lean and build on…                                                                                         

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2021 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     ​Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

A good Tuesday morning to all you my beautiful, wonderful and faithful friends in Scrip-Bit Land! Grace and Peace, Mercy, LOVE and Friendship to us all from our heavenly Father. And as James, Jesus’ brother puts it: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) Wow! And isn’t it good to hear that ALL good things come from our heavenly Father, our God, Creator and Redeemer! But what does all of that mean eh? And we have plenty info to share on all of that. (smile) 

Let’s begin with this general description from the gotquestions.org website. ‘It would be reasonable to conclude that the title “Father of lights” in James 1:17 communicates the idea that God is the author of all that is not darkness. There is no sin or transgression in Him. Everything represented by light is exemplified by God. Integrity, loyalty, honor, glory, wisdom, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), compassion, and LOVE are all qualities of God and examples of spiritual “light.” 

Physical lights, too, owe their existence to God: the starry heavens and the planetary kingdoms are all created by the Father of lights for His glory and purpose. As the Father of lights, God embodies all that is good and right. Just as God is LOVE (1 John 4:16), so God is light (1 John 1:5). God does not merely possess LOVE and light, as though they are qualities that can be taken away. God is LOVE and light, which makes Him the Father and originator of all lesser lights.’ So technically speaking, God has everything to do with the light we enjoy, be it physical, spiritual, emotional, or whatever! (smile) 

Now let’s look at the part about variation and changing, as the scholars talk about the Immutability of God. ‘1:17. Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get any better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will, and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however, does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging; therefore Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times (First ref. Ps. 9:7); Primary ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2).’ 

And all God’s people gave out a loud, and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour to the Most High God Jehovah! The First and the Last! The Alpha and Omega! Who was, is and always shall be!’ Yes friends, we’re so blessed to have the Lord God Almighty in our corner. I just wish many many more of us would realize it and accept His free and wonderful gift of salvation through His amazing and awesome Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! 

Then there’s also this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:17. Three great principles are presented: (1) God is the Father, or Creator, of the heavenly bodies. (2) As their Creator, He is certainly more stable than they. With God there is not even the slightest change; He is immutable. (3) God is only good – and always good. This third principle relates verse 17 to the preceding context. It answers the implication of verse 13 that God may sometimes tempt man to evil. Though God tries the saints (John 6:6; Heb. 11:17), He NEVER tries with evil intent so as to tempt them.’ 

And now that we’ve got that straight, (smile) that our God never tempts mankind with any evil intent, I guess we should go back and look at the previous verses that could cause some of us to think differently. James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars offer this explanation for that verse. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. God desires that they mature in the situation than move from it (cf. Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). 

He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor. 10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of his people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law. ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (Deut. 8:16).’ 

Oh my brethren, it’s in our own interest that we endure trials rather than always trying to escape them, for maturity, spiritual growth and heavenly blessings come when we endure temptations. And that’s why it’s suggested that we meditate on James 1:12, which encourages us to stand strong under the temptations, rather than 1 Cor.10:13, which talks about finding a way to escape them. And that’s definitely why a lot of us are not more blessed and spiritually mature, because we always seek the easy way out through escape. 

And James continues: ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed. Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:13-15) And that’s the gospel truth! 

Now please pay particular attention to these explanations from the scholars as they provide some very important points about trials and temptations. ‘1:13-15. The temptation of verses 13-15 differs from that in verses 2-12, as the context shows. Here the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. The trials of verse 2-12 cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. 

The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death. James uses words with the same Greek root in verses 2-12 and 13-15 to express different concepts. Outwardly, trials and temptations may appear the same, and what may start as a trial may develop into a temptation, if not properly answered by the Word of God.’ 

Mama Yo! It’s a lot to take in, but we need to get serious and do take it in, for our eternal destiny and rewards depend on how we handle these consummate forces of earthly life. And it will also do us a lot of good if we check out some of those many scriptures listed today. It’s plenty for us to ponder today, and I never intended or expected to get into so much stuff, but that’s where I was led. And as faithful children of God, I know we can handle it. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…life is full of lusts and temptations…but with God’s Word in our hearts…and His divine help…there’s no need to fear…