Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2020 Deuteronomy 8:18.

Deuteronomy 8:18.     ​Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…

Oh, it’s a lazy, hazy Saturday morning… and I’m late and hazy and lazy too! (smile) Did some other things before coming down to write the Bit, and now I’m a li’l miffed at myself for not getting started earlier. But them’s the breaks. Get over it self! (smile) 

And what’s the news this morning eh? Nothing has changed! The world is still in a volatile, unholy, strife-filled mess. And if you like the status quo, then I suppose that’s good news for you. If you don’t… well what can I say eh? Nothing but keep praying, repenting, getting back to God…and tell everyone you know, shout it from the rooftops that that’s the ONLY way our world will ever recover some semblance of normalcy! Nothing much is going to improve until there’s a big God-centred Revival in our world; a LOVE Revolution! Now that’s my stand…and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

So, since it’s Saturday, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And again, I only got three quotes instead of the usual five. And no, I’m not complaining – no way – because now I only have to wrap my head around three and not five quotes. Glory be! 

And he’s also continuing this new style of prefacing each one with this proviso: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But please remember we are only awesome and truly happy, calm and content in Christ Jesus; when He’s in us and we are in Him! Much LOVE and thanks to our wonderful Lord and Saviour! And also as usual, we’ll leave out the proviso from here on in. But please remember it in the context of Jesus. 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I choose not to criticize myself or others around me.’ Now that’s such a wonderful attitude! And besides our world is filled with too much criticism these turbulent days, unsupported criticism at that too. It’s one of our favourite games in this time of social media and rampant technology. And it’s one of those games where we like to give, but can’t take. We all LOVE to criticize, but we can’t accept it, even when it’s useful and true. 

Let’s stop for a moment and remember these awesome words of our Leader, Jesus Christ nuh. ‘Judge not (condemn not, criticize not), that ye be not judged (condemned, criticized). For with what judgement (condemnation, criticism) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) 

In other words friends, do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, because whatever you do, in whatever measure, it will eventually boomerang right back to you, and most likely you will be appalled at it. (smile) As the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for we don’t like getting back the negative stuff we throw in other’s faces. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars on the subject. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’ 

Hope that clarifies the subject and means that our criticism level will drop by at least three quarters, because a lot of the time we criticize, it’s not even that we have prejudiced info, but NO info at all. That’s how bad criticism is in these troubled and uncertain times! 

And the second quote proclaims: ‘My potential to succeed is limitless.’ Now that is certainly true…but again under the right situation and circumstances. One must first be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus and being obedient and obeisant to Him, so that we can be calm, happy and contented. But here’s the kicker in these words of Moses to the Israelites: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, unless we are living under God’s protective and powerful umbrella, our lives won’t be as thrilling, adventurous and successful. 

Remember His words to Joshua on remembering and meditating on His word and doing all contained therein? Why? ‘…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) It couldn’t be any plainer than that my people. And the thing we don’t understand about being successful in God’s mercies, is that with Him, success is lasting, not the uncertain, fleeting kind that comes when we try to accomplish it in our own strength following the ways of the world. 

So here’s the last quote…and it’s a dandy! (smile) ‘Difficult times are part of my journey and allow me to appreciate the good.’ And is that the indisputable truth! Thus the sayings like: ‘you can’t appreciate the sun until you experience the rain,’ ‘you can’t appreciate joy until you have experienced sorrow.’ It’s only when we experience the bad that we can truly appreciate the good. And nowhere is that clearer than in Jesus’ economy, for ofttimes He allows us to go through rough times to test our mettle, to mature us in His style. For we all know that we only truly grow in difficult times, not much in good ones. 

Now in this evil and sinful world difficulties do abound. And Jesus didn’t hesitate to remind us of that when He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And He certainly overcame, hell, death and the grave. So he knows what He’s talking about. 

And His brother James puts it thus: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) Yes friends, we need to look at our trials from God’s viewpoint; that they are maturing us and making us more like Jesus in character which is God’s eventual plan for ALL of his children.

 And yes, most of us try to find a way to escape from the trials and temptations, but it’s necessary that we go through them if we want to mature and grow in our Christian faith. And remember too that the Lord has promised to always be with us, helping us all the way. Now that belief is what our faith is built on, and with it we can successfully navigate any problems we encounter in this world! So let’s stand strong and steadfast, surrounded by all of God’s faithful promises! Much LOVE!

…when trials and tribulation come…God’s saints successfully rise up over them…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…