Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

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

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘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) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘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…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2019 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; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
No rain! No rain! Glory be! But the skies on the eastern horizon do look a tad dark for this hour of the morning. (smile) And just to let you know that by lunchtime yesterday, rainy day Tuesday had turned into dry and sunny day Tuesday!

Oh the weather system is so tricky and unreliable these days. But thank God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most reliable Being in God’s great universe, so we don’t have anything much to worry about, just our own unnecessary worries. (smile) 

And when I read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin yesterday, it just spoke to me, saying ‘You’ve got to share me!’ So here it is. 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 fists 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.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is all so true! We try to be tried and true believers, but that sinful aspect of our nature too often raises its ugly head and makes us behave very hypocritically! And don’t fool your fat, we’re all a bunch of ole hypocrites, just some to a higher or lower degree than others, because we all dislike things and people and otherwise for which we have no good grounds, and behave in ways that are very unchristian. 

However when the Holy Spirit convicts us, hopefully we turn to the cross of Jesus and cry out for the help we so badly need! And those last two lines say it all: By God’s unconditional and awesome LOVE, we became His children, and by His amazing GRACE, we remain His children! Yes friends, it’s all because of our wonderful God that we’re saved from a life of sin, shame and eternal damnation! 

And I like the scripture verse that Ruth uses for this poem ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Oh my people, which other supposed deity is willing to sit down and reason with His sinful disobedient subjects eh? Only the Lord God Jehovah, because He is sure and secure enough in His own omnipotence and omniscience to do so! But please note, that though He is willing to sit down and talk, He is still the one laying down the basic groundwork for our relationships. 

And that is: ‘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) 

And for some reason or other we don’t tend to take the Lord’s promises as seriously as we should. The Israelites didn’t several times, and felt the wrath He promised. Now we’re doing likewise, and so many of us are falling by the sword and numerous old and new diseases, and we still aren’t paying attention to God’s Word! How unwise my people! 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘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 the 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.’ 

All praise and glory to our wonderful God! And it’s not the only time the Lord calls His people to talk with Him about their sins. Listen to Him again, later on in Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead (contend) together: declare thou (thy case), that thou mayest be justified.’ (Is.43:2-26) 

Oh friends, what more can we ask for eh? We have such a wonderful God, who is willing and able to cast aside and forget our sins if we repent and become obedient to His Word. And that’s why the Lord LOVED Bruh David; he wasn’t afraid to confess his sins, even the most abominable ones. 

Listen to him from Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him up with his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) 

Yeh mih people, though Bruh David looked good on the outside, He was suffering mightily with the immense guilt on his heart, but when he repented, that guilt lifted because the Lord forgave him, though he paid a serious price for his sin later on in life, a sin which brought serious disrepute to God’s cause. The same thing goes for us today; we can ALL be forgiven through sincere repentance, but more likely than not, there will be consequences to pay for our sins. 

So fully knowing and acknowledging that, let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful and illustrious position in Christ. As one 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 yes my breddren, let’s keep on keeping on strong and steadfast, and that future will be indeed more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE! 

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so rightly says…the best way to live this life is to…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…