Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2017 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Well a fine Wednesday morning to you and yours my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Today has begun in brilliant fashion; bright sunshine, birds singing sweetly as they go about God’s work, and the new spring blossoms are also out in colourful abundance! 

Wow! What a day it is when both the Sun and the SON are out in full force! There’s nothing to beat it! So please, let’s grab a hold of the beauty of nature and the wonders of Jesus and run with them nuh, run this glorious race of life in which we’re entered! 

Now I’m going to spoil the mood some, (smile) by sharing this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. When I read it recently, I couldn’t help but think how appropriate it is to so many of us believers. It’s titled ‘God ‘s Searchlight.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God If suddenly You were to reveal To my family, my friends, my neighbours Every real thought behind my courteous words If you were to point to my clenched fist While my other hand is openly extended 

If you were to bring to light Every masked motive, every selfish act I would cringe with remorse And beg You to remove Your light of revelation. Yet, Lord, when the searchlight of the Holy Spirit Begins to reveal me to myself I so often close my eyes and turn my back In a frantic but impossible effort To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

What a staggering contradiction, Lord What appalling hypocrisy. Apart from Your grace I am utterly shattered. I ask You to sweep through me Purify me, cleanse me completely. From the depth of my penitent heart I thank You for Your continual assurance 

As I turn toward Your splintered cross: Because of Your LOVE I became Your child Because of Your grace I remain Your child.’ 

Ah friends, how genuinely that reflects so many of us a lot of the time! Our smiles and generous approaches aren’t always what they seem to be, neither are our outward motives. 

And when the Lord deals with us on the matter, we try to run and hide. But remember, we can run, but we can NEVER hide from our all-pervasive God. 

Yeh mih people, there is way too much hypocrisy in our Christian doings today. That’s one of the reasons why Christ’s church is having so many problems reaching and retaining members. 

But our God is so wonderful, forgiving and LOVING, that this is what He says in answer to our cry. ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the Bible Promise for our ‘God’s Searchlight’ poem, as well as our Bit for today. How reassuring it is eh. It doesn’t condemn us, but offers us a chance to repent and change from our wicked ways. 

And listen to how the Lord continues through Isaiah. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

Simple and straight forward words of our God! You repent and become obedient, you prosper; you refuse and rebel, you suffer calamity. 

And the sad part is that these are times of much rebellion and refusal to accept and be obedient to Almighty God! Instead of drawing closer to Him, we’re trying our very best to get rid of Him from our society. 

Hn! No wonder there is so much calamity and disaster, so much war and strife in our world! Everybody seems to be up in arms against his or her fellow man. Now could that be because of our disobedience and rebellion? 

You can bet your bottom dollar some of it is! God is trying to get our attention, but we’re too busy doing our own thing and going our own way to notice. However, listen to this explanation from the scholars re the verses above. 

‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

Oh friends, I am also trying to remind us of God’s grace and mercy to all who will come to Him in repentance and obedience! But all I can do is put it before us, everyone has to make the decision individually whether to accept or reject it. I implore us though, to please accept it, because that is eternal wisdom. 

Now for all of us who have accepted Jesus, let’s go home declaring with joy and contentment our Wednesday Wail. In unison 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!’ 

Oh doesn’t that just work wonders in our souls, my believing brethren! It certainly ought to. Much LOVE!

…only as one is surrounded by and ensconced in God’s LOVE…can one feel safe and secure…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2016 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.     I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Well friends, it’s Saturday; Caribana Saturday in the big T.O! Mama Yo! (smile)

Although it’s now officially known as something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, brought on by all the litigation and controversy over the name in the last few years. But in most people’s minds it will always be Caribana. 

Anyway, just like a rose by any other name is still as sweet, likewise Caribana by any other name still is a big festival. And you can imagine the city is hopping with all the functions slated for this long holiday Civic weekend. 

Well to cut a long story short, I did my hopping last night at the Pan Alive Steelband Competition. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years that has been my sole Caribana venture, because the big parade on Saturdays is more than I can physically handle, I can’t party like I used to. Chuh! (smile) 

And in any case what passes for mas down there doesn’t thrill me any more. But I’m not complaining. I had a good time at the pan competition, as I usually do. But also, as any of you who has ever been to a pan competition will know, there’s always controversy over the judges decision. 

And there certainly was some of that last night as the judges’ declared Pan Fantasy the winners for the fifth consecutive time. Steups! Now they might have deserved the accolade over the last couple years, but definitely not last night in the minds of most people. 

They looked good and their playing wasn’t bad, but it lacked the little something that makes a winner. A couple of bands like Silhouettes and Afro Pan sounded better. I’m not a big Afro Pan fan, but last night they played well and should have beaten out Pan Fantasy, instead of taking second place. 

One good thing though, this year there were fewer bands than normal, ten, and the Competition was better organized and was more of a show, with one pan side on stage at a time, and the judges no longer moving around. It also began on time and finished before midnight as the city dictated. 

Our own Calypso Monarch, Macoumeh Fifi, as well as a one pan side (one pan in each category) called Pan Elite from Arima in T&T performed during the intermission and after the bands performed. So some kudos go out to the organizing committee. And that’s that for Caribana…

Oh, except to send out Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, please, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Yes friends, we definitely have to be on our p’s and q’s during these big festivals as the enemy excitedly comes out on the prowl, looking for spirits and souls to invade with his evil power. And we definitely can’t allow him to do that. So please be careful this Caribana long weekend. 

Now here are a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. The first one says: ‘It’s better to have a stiff neck from aiming too high than to have a stiff back from aiming too low.’ 

And that is quite true, especially for Christians, since our Leader, our Lord and Saviour expects excellence from all His followers. His is a not necessarily a high intellect organization, as you can see from some of the people He originally chose as His disciples, and the ole crooks and scamps the Lord used to do His bidding in the Old Testament. 

But you’ll certainly notice that all His choices were high performance and achievement oriented. They did great things through the Lord’s help, even though they came from lowly backgrounds. The Lord takes pleasure in using the world’s castoffs and nonentities to confound the powers that be. 

And the second quote declares: ‘No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy — unless you let them.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! 

Technically speaking, no one has that sort of power over us, unless we allow them to. So when we say that so and so made us angry, or jealous, or whatever negative sentiment we choose to display, it’s technically incorrect. In truth, we are the ones allowing them to make us whatever. 

It’s the same thing when we declare that the devil made us do something. Of a fact, the devil has absolutely no power over us unless we allow him to. Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ defeated hell, death and the grave, Lucifer’s dominions, when He died, and rose from the grave on the third day. So please, let’s stop allowing people to have such power over us, because it detracts substantially from our witness for Christ. 

And that brings us finally to our Bit. ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

That says it all my fellow believers! Our Leader Jesus has conquered the forces of evil, which means there is nothing that we need be afraid of from the enemy, because in reality he is like a toothless dog, just barking his foolish head off, with no real power to bite or harm us. Whatever he does to us, is what we allow him to do. 

Yuh don’t see, even when Beelzebub wanted to harm Job, he had to first go to Almighty God for permission. (Job 1:6-12) The same applies to us today my brethren; whatever happens to us, the Lord allows for reasons He alone understands. But the evil one can’t just get up and hurt us because he feels like. 

And we’ll end with these awesome words of Jesus as He says to John after our Bit. ‘Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be (take place) hereafter;’ (Rev.1:19) 

And according to the scholars: 1:19. This is the key verse of the book. Revelation has three major sections: (1) the things which thou hast seen – chapter 1, especially the vision of Christ (c.f. v.11 – “what thou seest”); (2) the things which are – chapters 2 and 3, the conditions in the churches; and (3) the things which shall be hereafter – chapters 4-22, beginning with the judgements of the Tribulation period (cf. 7:1 –“after these things”).’ 

Yes friends, there’s a whole lot to come, and we’ll be wise to be on Jesus ‘s side, for He is indeed the Mighty Conqueror! Much LOVE!

…only fools will bypass the wonders of Jesus…to join the hapless band in Hades… 

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but you have to cut the ole fella some slack as this is Caribana weekend. (smile) Much LOVE!