Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2020 Deuteronomy 6:5.

Deuteronomy 6:5.     ​And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And then it was Wednesday; another beautiful autumn day! So let’s be glad and rejoice in it nuh, celebrate our great God and give Him thanks for all He’s done, still doing and faithfully promised to do for us in the future! Yeh, times might be a tad rough right now, but He has also promised to see us through those tough times, and bring us out better on the other side…if we have faith and trust in Him. That means we have to show faith and trust now more than ever, since the rough times seem like they’re going to last for longer than we expected. (smile) 

As Jeremiah so wisely warned his people long ago, I am here today to warn us of the consequences of lack of faith and trust, of ungodliness and willful disobedience and sinfulness. ‘Hear ye and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:15-17) 

Ah mih friends, I know that sounds like a dire proposition, but it’s a true one. Sinfulness and ungodliness, especially when laced with a major dose of pride, WILL undoubtedly bring negative consequences from Almighty God! And our society has been guilty of all those things, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we’re suffering some major heartaches now. And the sad part is that though our efforts to quell our problems in our own strength aren’t working, we still refuse to turn to the great healer, Jehovah Rapha for help. 

Oh, we’re so stubborn, hard-headed and prideful, thinking that we know so much, when in actual fact, we don’t know a blooming thing! That’s why we can’t even cut down the numbers of the Covid-19 pandemic, for so many of us refuse to do the only things we know will ease the pain. So we not only disobedient and stubborn towards God, but also towards man. That means ‘sufferation’ will be in the cards…unless we smarten up and get back to LOVING and praising, sincerely worshipping and reverencing our Creator. It’s as simple as that. 

And yuh know, the Lord doesn’t have to bring anything negative against us nuh, because we are doing it to ourselves. We are our own worst enemies with all the hate, anger, bitterness, strife, greed, power-hungriness and inhumanity that’s currently running rampant in our society. No society can withstand the barrage of negative stuff that’s happening right now and survive, much less prosper. And I have to chuckle sadly as I turned the pages of the Good Book and these rather appropriate words shot out at me. Isaiah’s warning to Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.’ (Is. 54:13) 

Unfortunately though, we have not taught our children of the Lord, so they obviously cannot find peace. They know only one option; that put forth by the world. And I don’t blame the children, I blame us, the parents, because it’s our duty to teach them about God, and it’s obvious that we haven’t done such a good job because so many of them don’t believe, and don’t even want to hear about God. 

But from day one, Moses instructed Israel and all those who accept the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob thus: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:4-7) 

And have we done those things? Hardly…or not to the extent that we should have. Our parents taught us about God and the way we ought to go, so we knew the two options available, but for some reason we have not done the same for our children, thus putting them at a disadvantage in this sinful world. Why? I don’t know. Possibly because we got too full of ourselves with the knowledge revolution that was going on in our time. 

But hear what the Lord Himself told Joshua nuh. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Now have we spoken of the book of the law, or meditated on it continually? Obviously not! 

And yes, some of us have had what the world terms success, but it’s not the good kind, the lasting kind. We’ve sold our souls to the devil to acquire worldly things, but be it known that that gentleman – hn! – will eventually come calling to collect his rightful dues. And what then eh? Hellfire and damnation…? Most likely. 

But when we adhere to God’s Word and Will, the result is heaven… and rewards.. a peaceful and prosperous eternity with Jesus as the Light and King of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I think I much prefer to live for Jesus than Satan. It might be harder, but it’s much more rewarding in the long run. In any case, it’s an individual choice we all must make, hopefully we ALL will make the right one…Jesus! 

And for those of us who have already made that right and most wonderful choice, let’s go home now telling all and sundry our wonderful position in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 as Jesus has so faithfully promised, if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s true wisdom… (Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.    And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.

Good morning Tuesday! Wow! You sure do look beautiful today with all your bright shining light and splash of new green nature! Let’s hope you keep your promise of a wonderful day. (smile) 

And I believe that Tuesday will indeed keep it’s promise, granting us so much LOVE, beauty, grace, mercy, and whatever else we need from our heavenly Father to successfully live and enjoy this day. All power and glory to our magnificent God! 

Yes friends, our God is truly magnificent! What other word(s) can you use to suitably describe Him eh? None really! For all that He has done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future, He just has to be out of this world! Hn, hn! And he is indeed out of this world, running it from His heavenly place. 

Oh my people, why don’t we LOVE and honour our wonderful God more eh? After all that He’s done on our behalf, you’d think that we’d be elated to be a part of His company and venerate Him like no other. But sadly, that’s not the case. Instead we seem intent on kicking Him out of our society completely. 

Oh we know that will NEVER happen, but too many of us are working towards that goal, when we should be working to make Him a more inclusive and bigger part of our lives. 

Whatever happened to the first and great commandment eh?  ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’ But nowadays we seem to worshipping multiple Gods. 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself. By definition therefore, there can be only ONE, all-powerful, infinite, limitless God. 

Illustration: To speak of more than one supreme, absolute, perfect and almighty Being is to say something contradictory. There cannot be two absolutes, for then there would be no absolute. (Simple logic dictates that). Application: By revelation, we know that only Yahweh is that one God. Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Deut.6:4).’ 

Oh friends, that last sentence is so overwhelmingly true and everlastingly important, that I feel the need to repeat it. ‘Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God.’ 

Oh my people, my people, if we hear or learn nothing else today, please, please, I implore us, let’s plant those words deep, deep down in our hearts and souls nuh, for they are the essence of truth in our faith. And until we sincerely acknowledge and practice them, our lives will never be truly fulfilled. 

That brings us right back to Jesus, as He continues and explains after our Bit. ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.’ (Mark 12:30) 

Ah friends, what a powerful piece of scripture; the basis of all that we should do. Yuh see how Jesus says we should LOVE the Lord? With every ounce of our being; heart, soul, mind, strength, everything that we have! But how many of us actually put everything we have into LOVING Jehovah God eh? Way too few! 

That’s why our lives, our faith and our world are in such a fearful mess! We don’t have our priorities straight. We put everything and everybody else before God, but then we expect have good lives. No way my brethren! Remember what the Lord said way back when He gave Israel the Ten Commandments? ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined is to rival the ONE TRUE GOD, who is the only ONE, who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf. Ps.81:9-10).’ And on top of all that, the Lord reminded His people: ‘for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ (Ex.20:5) 

Yuh think He’s changed since then friends? Absolutely not! So we are seriously and truly playing with fire when we fail to acknowledge Almighty God, or heaven forbid, make a mockery of Him and write Him off completely. 

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know what else to say nuh, to get people on the right track. For if the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then sadly, the way our world is currently living, doesn’t offer much hope for it. 

So friends, as ambassadors of Christ down here on earth, let’s try to do our very best to spread the good news of His story, so that folks can wake up and be saved. In the meantime let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, to show them who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and heart-felt sincerity: ‘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 fellow believers, what joy it is to be involved with Jesus! So now let’s go out and share that joy with others nuh, as He so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…truly LOVING God…is the first step…in the attainment of wisdom…