Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2020 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    ​Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
 
Arise people, it’s Monday, the start of another week of work, even for those of us who are working from home. Let’s not abuse the privilege and try to be just as diligent and excellent in our work habits as when we had to physically venture out into the evil world. Nothing much has changed; confusion, uncertainty and panic still abound, but more importantly, our great and wonderful God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things! And in that everlasting fact, we can put our sincere hope, faith and trust, knowing that He will keep His promise and work everything out for our good eventually. But we still have to do our part in the partnership, and at this moment, that’s prayer. 

So right now, in this turbulent time, let’s come before the Lord and ask for His help, as we pray our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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 we just have to do like Bruh David says: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:14) And when we have faithfully waited on the Lord, you know what will eventually happen? We will sing the song of praise of the redeemed, like Isaiah writes: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Oh friends, there is no better feeling than having waited faithfully, eagerly and expectantly for God’s promise, to be fulfilled in His time, and then having it come to pass. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name; now and forever!’ And do we ever need to do that as often as possible, since He is indeed very worthy to be praised! Now hear these words of further encouragement from Cousin Sol: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! For as the scholars explain: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ That’s an indisputable fact! When our dreams and hopes don’t come true, we tend to fall into bouts  of depression. But when they come to pass…oh boy…the joy that they bring is overwhelming. That’s why friends, we need to do like Zechariah advises: ‘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) And you know who is the stronghold He speaks of? Zion’s future King; Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, our ONLY true help in this time of crisis is the Creator and Controller of our Universe, the Lord God Almighty, in conjunction with His Son, Jesus Christ, the name above all names, who redeemed us by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, and His Holy Spirit, who works His miracles in our souls and spirits! So please, this Monday morning, in this time of pandemic, let’s not lose hope in our great God and His faithful promises. Instead, let’s ramp up our hope, and do like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: 

‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be ye kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent (boiling over) in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ (Rom. 12:9-15) 

And don’t tell me we can’t do those things friends, because they are all a part of basic Christianity, a part of the foundation, the example Jesus laid down for His church to follow! And believe me, we, the church of Christ, need to do them more than ever in these cruel and trying times, if we desire and expect to have any hope of survival. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…but the greatest of these three is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2017 Isaiah 26:4.

Isaiah 26:4.    Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).

Ah friends, what can I say about Sunday that hasn’t been said already eh? The Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, a time of rest, a time for gathering in His sanctuary and praising Him and receiving His wonderful blessings and assurance in return, etc. etc! Yes my brethren, Sunday is a wonderful day in our faith calendar. If we don’t use it wisely, we tend to falter and flame out very early in the upcoming week. 

That’s why we need to gather and fellowship at least once a week, to renew our faith, bolster our enthusiasm and be replenished with the Holy Spirit of Christ, who leads and guides us, and enables us to do the will of God down here on Mother Earth.  So, as always, let’s open the day’s proceedings with this favourite old hymn of praise and refuge, ‘Rock of Ages,’ penned by Augustus M. Toplady, around 1776. 

With sincere hearts and strong voices, let’s offer up sacrificial praise to our heavenly Father. ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ 

Oh friends, there’s nowhere safer in this universe than under the mighty wings of our omnipotent and wonderful God! And our Bit acknowledges it in spades: ‘Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ 

Those are words from the song of praise that will be sung when the redeemed enter the millennial kingdom. And the song continues to exalt the Lord’s strength: ‘For he bringeth down (low) them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread (trample) it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.’ (Is.26:5-6) 

What a mighty God we serve and worship my people! There’s NONE like Him! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Moses in his song of praise to the God of his forefathers. ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:4) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured (in those verses). The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people…’ 

When will we ever learn eh my brethren? The same thing is happening today; a minority of us are putting our trust and faith in Almighty God; the Creator and Controller of ALL THINGS!  That surely doesn’t make much sense, in no way is it wisdom in any form or fashion. Lucifer, whom most of us are bowing down to in these rough and disastrous end times, cannot offer us anything but hell fire and damnation. And if that is what you desire, then go right ahead and get it, but as for me and mine, we WILL follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Why? Just listen to Bruh David from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from all his enemies, in particular Saul. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

What greater testimony to our Lord’s greatness and power can there be eh friends? And I like how all these men of great faith put their exaltation in song. Listen as we end with words from Asaph’s song, Psalm 83 – A prayer for the destruction of Israel’s enemies. ‘So persecute (pursue) them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled (ashamed and dismayed) for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH (Lord), art the Most High over all the earth.’ (Ps.83:15-18) 

And friends, that is exactly what the Lord is doing all over the earth these days; letting us know that He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD, and if we don’t bow down and worship Him, we will eventually perish! It’s as simple as that! The Bible warns us of the penalty for sin and disobedience from Genesis right through to Revelation, so we can’t say we’re ignorant of the facts. Please, I implore us, let’s be wise and repent and get in the good graces of Almighty God nuh, before it’s too late! Now that is wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…remember that God doesn’t make idle promises…and He promised…that the wages of sin is death…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2016 Isaiah 35:4.

Isaiah 35:4.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Well a good Saturday morning to all you wonderful believers out there in LOVELAND! (smile) Yes friends, by the time we are finished with this world it will indeed be a land of LOVE, per Jesus and His LOVE Revolution! 

But you know what? To achieve that glorious aim, we, His foot soldiers have to truly be sincere and diligent and without further delay, seize the bull by the horns and just keep spreading the good news of His LOVE all over the universe! That’s the only way to ensure that the world is won for Christ!

Now it is indeed a tough situation to handle, what with Lucifer and all his evil minions also fighting for world superiority and supremacy, but look at what the handful of original disciples did with nothing but P2 (walking) and word of mouth.

It’s obvious therefore that with all the new technology available to us now, we can do umpteen times better than them! We just have to make up our minds to do it, then get on our horses and ride… (smile) 

And the wonderful thing is that nowadays you don’t have to even send out as many as missionaries as before, though they are still necessary, because a lot of the work can be done right where you are through the wonderful communications network we now possess.

So please, my brethren, let’s get really serious about spreading the LOVE of Christ nuh. Remember it’s our bounden duty, per the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20)  

Now let’s turn to some interesting words from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And in his first statement today, he seriously and wisely declares.

‘Do not let another human decide whether you are going to have a positive or negative day. You’re in charge of that decision, so make the decision to have a positive day regardless of how other people try to steer you in the negative direction.’ 

Ah friends, what awesome words of wisdom! We all know the controlling temperament that is predominant in today’s world, but as true believers, and strong individuals, we cannot afford to let others control us. Christ wants us to go in a positive direction, and that’s how we must go, regardless of what others think, say or do. We must make up our own minds. 

And the second quote from our wise friend Anselm, is even wiser than the previous one. Listen up; it’s titled “Life is how we view it.” And it asks these rather important questions. 

‘In your life, do you focus on those who have more than you or those who are less fortunate than you? Do you focus on how bad your job is or that you have a job? Do you focus on the smallness of your closet and house, or do you see that you have so many clothes you don’t have room to store them?

What eye are you looking out of? If you want the world to look differently, it may be easier for you to open the other eye than to paint the world.’ 

Well my people, I do hope that our answer to each question was the second half and not the first, because the first means we are too world oriented, with big eyes (greedy and jealous), allowing the lusts of the flesh to control us. And sadly, under those circumstances it’s not conducive to work sincerely for Jesus.

So please let’s ponder our situations, re that quote above, and make sure that we bring our focus into line with that of Jesus, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, after which all those other things will be granted to us. (Matt.6:33) 

And before we run out of space and time, let’s turn to our awesome Bit for the last time. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’  

Oh my fellow believers, that one sentence is packed with so much encouragement, reassurance and promise, that if we truly believe it, there’s nothing in this evil, ungodly world that will faze us or make us fearful!

And why is that? Because it’s the solemn and faithful promise of our omnipotent God, the Creator of the universe and all therein, who never makes idle promises,  and furthermore, He has the power to make each and every one come true. 

Now listen to an example of the great power invoked in a promise, it concerns the strengthening of Daniel to receive his vision by the great river. “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.

And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.’ (Dan.10:18-19) What awesome power eh friends! And only the Lord God Jehovah, our wise and great God has it! 

And we’ll close with some more awesome words, from the song of praise by the redeemed. Hear Isaiah tell it like it is. ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:8-9) 

Yes friends, that is the wonderful God that we worship! Therefore there is no need to be afraid or anxious for anything, because He will always look out for us, once we remain under the safe and protective umbrella of His everlasting wings! Much LOVE!

…all glory and honour be to the LIVING GOD…omnipotent…omniscient…and omnipresent…there’s none other like Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2016 Isaiah 35:4

Isaiah 35:4.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.

Ah friends, another beautiful summer’s day seems to be in the offing…and a rather hot one to boot, right up there in the early thirties. Now I know that is an everyday normal for some of you, but not in this great country called Canada. Up here, especially in these days of climate change, the temps do fluctuate some. 

Anyway, the important thing is that we’re alive and kicking – well some of us (smile) and we’re holding on securely to our faith in our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. Bless His holy name, rejoice in His mercy and LOVING-kindness and glorify His omnipotent majesty!’ 

Now let’s continue this great beginning to our day by proclaiming out loud, with much sincerity and enthusiasm, our Thursday Blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. 

As one now: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And seeing that we’re on such a roll, let’s just motor along with our Bit; that powerful, encouraging and reassuring piece of scripture. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the Lord’s promise that Israel will be restored to Zion. It’s also His promise to us that He will fight for us; He’ll exact vengeance on our enemies and recompense us for our loss. Ah mih people, it’s ‘a message of hope for the future,’ therefore we need to be strong and not be afraid of what man can do to us. 

What did Jesus tell the disciples? ‘And fear them not which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) 

Words of absolute truth my people! He who kills the body is not so much to be feared as the one who can kill both body and soul, because the death of the body is not the end of a person’s life, but the death of a soul is something entirely different. 

Now let’s hear some of the stuff that the Lord promised when Israel is restored to Zion. This comes after our Bit. ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart (deer), and the tongue of the dumb (mute) sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 

And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons (jackals), where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way (road), and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men (they who walk the road), though fools, shall not err therein (go astray). 

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’ (Is.35:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, yuh see the wonderful stuff and times we have to look forward to! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. 35:1-10. The prophet Isaiah now turns to a message of hope for the future. After the great destruction of the Tribulation period will come the blessings of the millennial age when the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 

In the Messiah’s kingdom all spiritual evil and physical catastrophe will be reversed and the land and the people will be blessed. Carmel and Sharon, the normally fertile regions of Israel, though devastated by the Battle of Armageddon will once again be fertile and productive. One day they will blossom more beautifully than the cedar forests of Lebanon. (vs.1-2) 

The highway is contrasted to the desolate desert and its endless maze of shifting sands. It will be the way of holiness and will be reserved for the ransomed and redeemed of the Tribulation period who will enter the millennial kingdom.’ 

Oh my people, what a wonderful situation we have to look forward to as members of the ransomed and redeemed! Glory Hallelujah! But if we truly want to walk along that highway of holiness in the future, right now we have to stand strong and believe that God will do what He has promised. 

So today, please let’s ponder all that we’ve said and bind the wonderful promises of God deep in our hearts, minds, souls and bodies, for that is wisdom of eternal value. Much LOVE!…

there’s none as mighty and powerful…as the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2015 Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5.  Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

And then it was Saturday Friends! Wow! Another great day to be alive, because we don’t know what wonderful blessings and mercies the Lord has planned for us today. But be sure of this one thing; He does have stuff planned for us, otherwise His fabulous breath of life would not be flowing through our physical bodies right now. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty ‘Praise the Lord for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ We surely are thankful my people. 

And since we’re continuing our series of messages on HOPE, I thought this quote from Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) a Jewish Dutch philosopher of some renown, would fit right into our plans. Baruch is reputed to have said that ‘There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.’ 

Yes Friends, we all feel some sort of fear, anxiety and/or doubt, when we’re in a hoping frame of mind. And even when we’re truly fearful, there is always a smattering of hope lurking somewhere in the background, telling us that everything will be all right. So it’s just a normal human reaction to have a touch of fear in hope and hope in fear. 

But my precious people, let’s never forget those memorable words of encouragement that Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

So though it’s only natural for a little fear to sometimes creep into our lives, that is not our basic human nature, it is of the enemy. We have been empowered, filled with LOVE and a sound mind by Almighty God to pursue His purposes! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, in this dangerous and difficult world it is normal for us to sometimes feel less than strong and powerful, and thus have our spirits sink to a fraction of their natural buoyancy.  But the important thing to remember when those times befall us is that we must turn to our great God for help. He is the only one who can provide the necessary comfort we seek. 

As the psalmist says in Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps.130:7-8) Words of indisputable truth my people! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in chapter 25 – The song of praise by the redeemed. ‘He will swallow up death (forever) in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.26:9)  

Oh Friends, now why wouldn’t we hope for that eh? It’s such a wonderful promise! And we know that all of our God’s promises are faithful and true, though they make take a while longer to come than we would like. But as Habakkuk so wisely advises: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab.2:3) 

Yes Friends, ALL of God’s promises will eventually come true, but in HIS OWN TIME. That means we have to hope and pray and wait. What better example can we find that our father Abraham eh? 

Here’s what Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church about him. ‘Who against (contrary to) hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. According to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 

He staggered (wavered) not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:18-21) 

My people are we as convinced that our God can perform His promises? I certainly hope so, otherwise we’re fighting a losing battle and we’re not true Christians. How many of us would have packed up all our belongings and moved far away from our families, not having a clue as to where we were going, just because some obscure and so-called God told us to do it? Not many. 

And how many of us would have believed that a woman could bear children at almost a hundred years old? Not many! And how many of us would have believed that we would become the father of many nations when the Lord told us to sacrifice our one and only son, from whom all the mighty lineage was supposed to flow? Again, not many! But Abraham did. That’s why it was ascribed to him as righteousness.  

Ah mih people, sometimes it’s a hard row we have to hoe, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. So please, regardless of the difficult circumstances we might now be undergoing, please don’t ever give up on our God. Abraham did not have to sacrifice his only son, but our heavenly Father did it so that we could be saved, be reconciled to Him, have salvation and eternal life. 

And remember He did not have to do it, but He did it for our sakes. Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. So just hang in there my people and all will be well in the Lord’s time. Much LOVE!

 …to hope…to hope…and yet to hope…that is a Christian’s lot…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2015 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1. Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. 
 

All hail my fine Friends in Jesus Christ! It’s a brand new spanking day! Yes my brethren, we’ve been granted the fabulous gift of life on a new day through the wonderful grace of Almighty God, so please, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
 
Let’s joyfully enjoy (smile) the new mercies and blessings that have been specially prepared for us for this day. Let’s also do our best to live up to the high ideals of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose motto is excellence at all times.
 
And having said all of that, on this chilly Thursday morning, the 15th day of January 2015, I have this most appropriate passage for this time of year to share from the One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘January.’
 
Read with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales.
 
But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When you said Behold, I make all things new Did you forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’
 
Oh my people, those sentiments are so true, for many of us feel that way at this time of year. I guess we can call them the ‘dog days’ of January, where we’re somewhat lost in the middle of it all. The celebrations are over and done with for the old year, and the new one hasn’t quite taken shape or hold as yet.
 
Plus we’re wondering and contemplating how we’re going to pay the bills that we’ve amassed over the Christmas season. (smile) But yuh know what my fellow believers in Christ? In this time of uncertainty, we can all hold on to the promise attached to that passage, which we’ll use as our Bit.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’
 
Yes Friends, there are so many heroes of faith that have gone before us that we don’t lack for good and positive examples in living our Christian faith. But we need to do certain things if we’re going to be successful.
 
First of all we need to throw off any weight, both literally and figuratively, any impediment at all that is holding us back from running our race. We also need to throw off any sin, large or small, that’s entangling us, that has us struggling or keeping us back from reaching the lofty goals that Christ has planned for us.
 
And above all, we need to do those things with patience and perseverance, keep a steadfast and true pace. Yes my people, we need to be always trying to improve as we run this race of life.
 
And as the author of Hebrews so wisely and rightly continues, we ought to be: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2)
 
Oh Friends, what an encouraging and uplifting picture! Jesus is the best example of earthly living we can, and will ever have! He both began and finished the course of our faith. So we need to look to Him for proper guidance and strength to face this rat-race world that we’re currently living in.
 
We’ll never be perfect as Him, but the important thing is to try, to do our best to get as close to a Christ-like character as we can. That brings us to our New Year’s resolution of endeavouring to have a closer walk with Jesus.
 
I do hope that we haven’t already forgotten it as we get caught up again in the busyness of life. And I believe that if we’re feeling like the passage above from the Book of Promises, then we have indeed forgotten that resolution.
 
Please, let’s realign our priorities, with Jesus as NUMBER ONE, so that we can have a fruitful and successful 2015, for I firmly and faithfully believe that this will be the BEST YEAR in many of our lives!
 
Now let’s look at a scripture passage that adds weight to our Bit and empowers us in our faith. Hear Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians, where he’s talking about the new life in Christ. Here are some weights that we might need to throw off to lighten our load in running this race of life.
 
‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11)
 
Truly words of wisdom, my people! Now let’s close with some interesting and important notes from the scholars re those verses. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.”
 
3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’
 
‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all; that is, He is everything, and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’
 
Oh my people, it’s not easy trying to live a truly Christian life in this evil and ungodly world, but if we stick like glue to Christ, He will empower us to run this earthly race successfully, and that’s no lie! Much LOVE!
 
…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…