Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2019 Isaiah 44:6.

Isaiah 44:6.    Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
 

Ah mih people, I woke up joyfully singing it this morning, even though I did not get much sleep, so I took it as a sign that we should open with some of it. (smile) So please sing with me: ‘Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul, Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name.’ 

One more time, cause when it’s so nice, you’ve got to sing it twice. (smile) ‘Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul, Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name.’ And yes friends, that’s exactly what we should all be doing, or have already done, this glorious Wednesday morning that the Lord has so graciously seen fit to allow us to see. 

Bless His holy name my people! Bless and exalt it because He is the ONE and ONLY ONE! He said so Himself in His Word, through His prophet Isaiah, and He does not lie; His Word is truth; the ultimate truth!

Listen to His awesome Word and let your hearts be set free by its amazing truth: ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.’ Mamacita! What a powerful, factual and undeniable statement that is my believing brethren! 

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘44:6. In verse 6 the prophet emphasizes the oneness of God by stating that beside me there is no God. Yet at the same time, the prophet distinguishes between the Lord the King of Israel and his redeemer the Lord of hosts. The personal name ‘Yahweh’ is used of both the King and His redeemer, the one referring to God the Father and the other referring to God the Son.’ 

We can see that even way back then the Lord was setting the stage for coming of His most wonderful Son! And believe me, there’s no better stage manager in all the world than the Lord our God. You just have to read the Good Book and see how He set up everything right to the nth degree from creating the world to saving it! 

But getting back to the Lord being the ONE and ONLY GOD, He continues to make His point, reasoning thus: ‘And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, (who can proclaim it? Then let him declare it), and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.’ (Is.44:7-8) 

Oh friends, I don’t know of any other nuh! (smile) They are a lot of pretend ones, but they have no power whatsoever. And how can a man bow down and worship something inanimate that he’s made with his own two hands eh?

And even if you worship the wind, the birds, the sun, the moon, the stars or some other aspect of creation, like you, they were created by the ONE TRUE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and none of them can do anything on their own, their apparent power is all wrapped up in what the Lord, the King of Israel gave and still gives to them! 

So worshipping any other supposed God is pure folly! And as the Father said it to, and through Isaiah, so did the Son, Jesus Christ, say it to His beloved disciple, John in his vision on the island of Patmos, where he was exiled. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev.1:8) 

And even around God’s throne everlasting praises are being sung spelling out His might and majesty and holiness. ‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about them; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.’ (Rev.4:8) Oh my people, heaven is constantly ringing with the Lord’s praises! 

As John writes: ‘And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).’ (Rev.4:9-11) 

Can you imagine that scene mih breddren? A rainbow around the throne of heaven, with the Lord sitting there looking as beautiful as ever, and thunder and lightning, and the beasts singing and the elders worshipping…pure merriment mih people!

So if they can sing the Father’s praises so continuously in heaven, why can’t we lesser mortals sing His praises some too down here on earth eh? Why are we so stingy with giving Him His rightfully deserved praise eh? 

Because we are selfish and don’t truly believe that He is who He says He is. But that will only lead to our eventual chagrin my friends. So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses, or the coffee, or whatever will open our eyes, minds and souls to the reality that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD in this wonderful universe He created! 

And having settled that, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you sincerely believe it, then please stick steadfastly with it, because one day, we too shall be singing and worshipping the Lord in heaven! Much LOVE!

…our human minds are too small…to fully comprehend…the constant joy in heaven…but if we believe the promise…one day we surely will…

 

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2019 Isaiah 44:6.

Isaiah 44:6.    Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
 
Well it looks like another dark, cloudy, rainy, windy and stormy day here in Paradise! (smile) Yeh, it rained for much of yesterday, even through the night, and has begun again this morning, just when I have things to go out the street and do! Chuh! First time since I’m here I’ve seen so much rain fall. We’d get the li’l ten seconds drizzle or the two minutes showers, but not continuous stuff like this. 

But the land badly needed it because it was dry and brown everywhere. Can imagine the joy of the golf course owners up the street. You couldn’t use the golf vernacular of ‘greens,’ about it because it looked more like ‘browns.’ (smile) Even the sea is acting up some, as I watch the white capped frothing waves break over the nearby reef, then hurtle onwards, only to dash themselves against the rocky shore! But that’s Mother Nature, and try as we want, I doubt we’ll ever tame her, because she’s of God’s own making! 

That brings us to another important thing we can’t do; create gods for ourselves, or as Isaiah puts it, the folly of idolatry! Yes friends, we’re living in a rather idolatrous world, not so much the worshipping of pagan Gods, but of worldly things, places and people. We’re talking about the cult of celebrity that’s now dominant in our world; people who don’t’ know their A from their E, but we’re flocking to follow their insipid, eccentric lifestyles and ungodly ways. 

And social media is only enhancing the foolishness! We waste so much time on the nonsense, but have no time for the real, One True God, except to try and leverage Him out of our idolatrous society. Yes, these things have some useful purposes, but not when we become addicted to them as we are and place Almighty God on the back burner of our lives, if we even have Him on our stove at all! 

But please listen to the words of the Lord to the idolatrous society of Israel, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.’ Oh my people, those are words of absolute truth, as the nation of Israel found out to their utter detriment, when they refused to stop worshipping idols and other pagan gods. 

Listen further to the words of God: ‘They that make a graven image are all of them vanity (useless); and their delectable (precious) things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten (molded) image that is profitable for nothing? Behold all his fellows (companions) shall be ashamed: and the workmen they are of men (mere men): let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.’ (Is.44:9-11) 

Yeh friends, Satan has blinded our eyes and deafened our ears so that we can’t see or hear the nonsense, neither are we ashamed and regretful of the evil and ungodly lifestyle we’re living! And after that passage above, the Lord goes on to vilify the blacksmith, the carpenter and the tree cutter. And as to the tree cutter, the wood he provides, the Lord declares (right ho!): ‘

Then shall it be for man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part (half) thereof in the fire; with part (half) thereof he eateth flesh; he roastest roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 

And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, deliver me, for thou art my god…And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part (half) of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?’ (Is.44:15-17,19) 

Ah my people, that’s the exact same way we are behaving today, not literally, but figuratively! Now listen closely to the scholars take on those verses. ‘44:9-20. This expose of idolatry is the most taunting in all of the Bible. The prophet Isaiah, serving as the spokesman of Yahweh, reveals the utter foolishness of polytheistic pagan idolatry. The graven image (carved idol) is called vanity (nothing). Delectable things refers to the adornment of the idols with gold, silver and precious stones. 

The prophet announces that the idols themselves are their own witnesses. They see not, nor know. Therefore these inanimate objects are profitable for nothing. Isaiah then berates the workmen (artisans) for designing and constructing their idols in the figure of a man. He exposes the basic fallacy of idolatry, a god made in the image of man. Thus the prophet’s criticism of one who would worship and idol carved from the same tree that he would use for firewood is that he feedeth on ashes.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I can’t add a whole lot more to that nuh, except to remind us that we are spending too much time involved with the artifacts of man, and not enough with our Creator, our God, and that can only bring serious repercussions in the end. Now let’s go home telling the world about our safe and secure position in Christ by declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail. 

With sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me, that future sure will be glorious! Much LOVE!

…only through the acceptance of Jesus…will blind eyes be opened…and deaf ears made to hear…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2016 Zephaniah 3:17.

Zephaniah 3:17.   The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.

Ah mih breddren, it’s Tuesday, the last day of this extra long weekend! Let’s hope that we all used the earlier portions properly, raising up Christ as the most important part of it all, for the whole shebang is all about His marvelous and miraculous birth! 

And since the Christmas season is not yet over, I want to share with us this morning ‘A Christmas Prayer,’ from my Hour of Power Devotional by Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller). 

Please read with me. ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. 

I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. 

I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving, solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that beautiful? It surely is! Gramps Schuller covers the whole gamut, from birth to death in words and feelings so rich in imagery that we can’t escape its hold. 

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if our lives can be tall and upright like a pine tree, exhibiting all those graceful and grateful aspects of Christianity, which can only be accomplished if our roots are deep and strong in God’s LOVE! 

Yeh, it certainly would turn this evil and ungodly world upside down on its ear. (smile) So let’s keep working diligently on it nuh my fellow believers, and not waste Christ’s birth, life and death, as we seem to be currently doing. 

Be that as it may though, let’s check out this interesting Bit that I was led to today. ‘The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.’ 

That is the wonderful promise the Lord made to His people Israel through the prophet Zephaniah, of their ultimate supremacy. And friends, that is exactly what the Lord began with the birth of Jesus! He came mightily in our midst, to save us, to bring us comfort and joy, with songs of celebration! Oh what a wonderful God we serve, my faithful breddren! 

And would you believe that earlier on in that same chapter there are two more promises along those lines. In the first part of the chapter that deals with Jerusalem’s sin and redemption, the scripture says thus. 

‘The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgement (justice) to light, he faileth not (never fails); but the unjust knoweth no shame.’ (Zeph.3:5) 

Then later on, the Good Book declares: ‘Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see (fear) evil (disaster) any more.’ (Zeph.3:14-15) 

And did our ever-faithful and ever-LOVING God ever fulfill those promises beginning with the birth of Christ! 

And through His Holy Spirit, our marvellous God has given us all the tools so that we won’t fear, but can rejoice in comfort, for our salvation has been paid for by the spilled blood of Christ, and life eternal, in His wonderful company is ours to bask in. What more can we ask eh friends? Not much really. 

Now I want to share two last scriptures, both from Isaiah, re our God’s rejoicing over us. While talking of the restoration of Zion, Isaiah declares: ‘For as the young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.’ (Is.62:5) I just LOVE promises like that! 

Now hear this final scripture of promise under new heavens and a new earth. ‘And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 

There shall be no more thence an infant of days (who lives but a few days), nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.’ (Is.65:19-20) 

Oh friends, I can surely live with promises like those! Now let’s go home strengthening ourselves in the promises of God, by declaring our Tuesday Mantra, with the zest, the passion and strong belief it deserves. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh people, oh people, what can be better than being LOVED by an omnipotent, caring and compassionate God, and being a friend of Jesus eh? Nothing my brethren, absolutely NOTHING! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…