Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Oh mih people, it’s Wednesday! So jump and sing and shout! Shout praise and thanks to Almighty God for giving us one more blessed day on His great planet earth! Wow! We’re alive and kicking for another big day! Isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! 

But don’t forget that we’ve been allowed to see today not only to enjoy it, but also to do whatever work or plan our heavenly Father has in mind for us, for there’s ALWAYS something our God wants to do through us. 

So let’s find out today’s task, then do it diligently, and also with excellence, because that’s the hallmark of a true follower of Christ; diligent excellence! (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it’s titled ‘My Personal Rainbow.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me As I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God! 

And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm the world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow.’ 

Yeh friends, each of us will have our own personal rainbow if we continue to have such strong and far-reaching faith! 

I know that many of us are going through some very stormy times right now, but the answer to it all is to just put those problems in God’s hands, allow Him to be your pilot through the storm, and you will be guaranteed a safe haven eventually. 

Now it won’t necessarily be easy, but with God as your pilot, NO ONE, or NOTHING can defeat you! We just have to stay in faith, standing strong and walking tall for Jesus! Remember all the other times that God has bailed us out of trouble and sincerely declare that if He could do it then, He can also do it now! 

And very appropriately, the Bible promise for that poem is one we know and dearly LOVE, Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Roman church: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose. (Rom.8:28)  Glory to God! 

And if we believe that, then there should be no cause for worry. For concern, yes, but not worry, for everything is in the mighty hand of our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! Glory Hallelujah! Give Him the praise and thanks that He so assuredly deserves my people! 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful Bit for the last time; a Bit that also lifts us up and warms the cockles of our hearts because of our God’s great promises contained therein. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ And that’s the immortal truth my brethren! 

And we’ll finish this series of messages with some corroborating scripture on the last part of our Bit: ‘he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ Listen to Bruh David tell it like it is from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 

He is ever merciful (merciful all the day), and lendedth: and his seed (descendants) are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the Lord LOVETH judgement (justice), and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’ (Ps.37:23-28) 

Ah friends, what powerful and faithful promises from our great God! And remember that Bruh David wasn’t talking from hearsay nuh, but from personal experience, which means that all he’s saying is also possible in our lives if we are obedient to God’s will. 

And to add more wood to the already blazing fire, (smile) hear how he ends the psalm. ‘But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps.37:38-40) 

Yes mih breddren, more words of indisputable, gospel and immortal truth! And if you believe it, then please declare with me our Wednesday Wail which celebrates it all. 

‘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!’ 

Now let’s keep our hands fixed on that plough, while looking straight ahead to that glorious future with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…faithfully LOVING and trusting God…should be as easy as pumpkin pie…given all His faithful promises…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2016 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well friends and fellow believers, Christmas Day is over, but not the Christmas season. Let’s see if we can’t drag it out for as long as possible nuh – until next year this same time. (smile) 

Yeh, I know that’s only wishful thinking because come the second, if not the first week of January 2017, we’ll be back to our ungodly, uncaring ways, treating each other with discourtesy and contempt, having forgotten the kind words, the generous giving and heartfelt compassion we had shared just a couple weeks before. But I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, unable to stay on the straight and narrow path for any length of time, especially when the frivolities of the world call. 

And although many of us are off today, many still have to go out and labour since our society has become a 24/7 machine that never stops.  So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with those unfortunate ones who have to go out and face the music today. Let’s lend them a helping voice so that they can be inspired and enthused to go out and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Hn, hn! I have to laugh yes mih people, because it happens all the time. On the Mondays when only some of us are going to work, the raucous sound of those who are off are always louder and more enthusiastic, but also more out of key and harmony.  Our Choirmaster, Jesus, could only chuckle and shake His head, because He was well aware of the earthly goings on. And He does appreciate us putting our hearts into it, though our voices weren’t that sweet.  

And before we get to our Bit, it’s necessary to remind us of Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Because if we don’t, Beelzebub will certainly mind it for us as He is out seriously prowling for any unfortunates he can find this Christmas season.  I guess that’s why I’ve been led to this Bit for today. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people that’s ever so true! Lucifer is always on the watch for when we step out of line. And he’d be especially pleased to get his tenterhooks into us in this Christmas time when we’re celebrating the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To catch us offside while we carrying on about Jesus…Wow! That would be a real feather in his cap.  So that’s why we have to pay particular attention to Granny’s advice when we are celebrating, or for that matter doing anything at all. 

And Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, that ought to give us some encouragement, knowing that others in the faith are also suffering some rough times, with the evil one right on their heels, just waiting for them to falter, to stumble and fall. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t. For as we say, ’Nobody knows the trouble I see. Nobody but Jesus.’ 

We all feel that our afflictions and problems are different and more serious than those of other believers. But the truth is my brethren, we all suffer at different levels and different degrees, but ‘sufferation’ is ‘sufferation’ in any form or level that it comes. 

That’s why Peter advised us before our Bit to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7)  

Yeh precious believers, our wonderful God cares a whole lot for us, but He can’t help us unless we surrender our all to Him. We just can’t keep some things for ourselves and give the rest to Him. He wants it all. That’s the only way He can properly control our circumstances. And believe me, He won’t ever leave us in the lurch, for He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. And we all know that He’s ever-faithful about His promises. 

And here are some encouraging words from Peter for us to go home with today. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Yes friends, in due course, the Lord will bring us out of our troubles, much stronger than when we first encountered them. So let’s apply ourselves to wisdom nuh, if we want to be honoured, exalted and looked after by our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are the called…according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, this morning the ole fella is pleading for mercy and forgiveness in accordance with our Christian faith. (smile) 

Ah friends, it seems like I’ve forgotten that I’m no longer a youngster, and after being out and about a fair amount yesterday, I also had a pretty late night… or morning. Thus, I was unable to get out of bed at a decent enough hour to write the Bit. 

And to make matters even worse, the arthritic bones are crying out some this Wednesday morning…. Oh for the warmth, the sunshine, salt water and LOVE of sweet Tobago! (smile) 

But not to worry, between some man-made medication and the cross of Christ, we shall overcome all our difficulties. 

And all God’s people said a loud and appreciative, ‘Praise the Lord for his goodness to the children of men!’ 

And now that I’ve gratefully received your mercy and forgiveness so graciously offered, (smile) here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which I think is very appropriate for many of us in these trying times. 

It’s titled ‘Fiery Trials.’ And it says: ‘God is teaching me incredible lessons regarding growth. I see with undeniable evidence that growth means pruning, and pruning means pain. I confess, I’m actually a coward about pain. 

I certainly never pray for it. I don’t anticipate or look for it. I do only one thing. I ask God to steady me, since the Bible so clearly states that trials are a part of our lifewalk with Him. In all honesty I would prefer to escape the testing. 

I don’t like the pain of emotional trauma, which can be so overwhelming and baffling. I don’t like the deep cutting pain that goes on and on without relief. The pain of loneliness frightens me, the pain of losing someone dear to me grieves me. 

Nevertheless, I am praying for an open heart. I can’t begin to contemplate what fiery ordeals God may choose for my testing and growth, but I do long for my yieldedness to prove my willingness to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.’ 

Oh my precious people in Christ, I am sure that each one of us have thought and prayed something like that on numerous occasions when we’ve been put through our paces by Almighty God! 

No, the testing is never ever very nice, but as believers in Christ, we do need to keep an open heart and try our best to yield willingly to the trials and tribulations that come against us. We obviously don’t know the Lord’s plans for our testing, but we must also remember that He’s promised to see us successfully through each and every one. 

Please remember these great and promising words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

So friends, if you are one of those called by God, and you LOVE Him, then please believe that eventually He will work everything out for your good as He has promised. 

And the promise for today’s ‘Fiery Trials’ writing is also our Bit, a scripture that we all know but DON’T LOVE! (smile) 

‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

And a lot of us ask if Peter is mad or what! How can we not think it strange when those trials and tribulations suddenly come upon us, usually without any warning? 

But here is Peter’s logic as he continues after our Bit. ‘But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Peter 4:13-14) 

Yeh mih breddren, it is hard to accept trials, moreover to rejoice in them is extremely difficult. But please remember they are come upon us for testing, we’re being put thought fiery furnace so that we may become like Christ. 

That’s the main reason, and it follows that if we suffer in His name, then we will also be glorified when He is glorified. So please hang in there and don’t be afraid to ask the Lord for help. 

If Christ could plead for help in the Garden of Gethsemane before undergoing His fiery trial of crucifixion, so can we. But the important thing to realize is that God’s Will must always come first. 

It’s not easy, but like Jesus did it through hungry hope and strong faith in His Father, so can we with God’s ever-present help. Now let’s go home on a more positive and joyful note, as we wail our Wednesday Wail. 

Wailing… as one: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, instead of focusing on our trials and tribulations, let’s joyfully focus instead on the wonderful future we have to look forward to with Christ! That makes much more sense. Much LOVE!

…through the fiery furnace we go…but more Christ-like we come out… 

P.S. It’s late, but great! (smile) Please keep on praying for our bubba Scotty. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2016 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Well a blessed day to all you my Scrip-Bit family and friends! And I know that some of us will be quick to say what’s so blessed about it eh? Just look at my circumstances, look at how I’m suffering and struggling. I certainly wouldn’t call that blessed. 

I understand that friends, but it’s all in our attitude toward those circumstances and struggles. Too many Christians expect to just have a nice smooth ride through life without any problems simply because they are followers of Christ. But it doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, the greater our calling from God, ofttimes the greater the struggle in our lives. 

Look at all the great prophets, Bruh Joseph, Moses, Bruh David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Bruh Paul, and finally Jesus Christ Himself; they all went through many trials and much tribulation to accomplish their earthly goals. Jesus even warned us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And furthermore, the Lord uses these trials and struggles to test us, to build and grow our faith; to see if we truly believe and are willing to rely on Him and His promises. As Job, another righteous man who suffered great tribulation declared during his time of trial. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on that verse. ’23:10. I shall come forth as gold: His friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fires of refinement.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord puts us through our paces like we put metals through fire to purify them. And believe me, when you go through some of those refining fires, you will come out as bright and beautiful and strong and faithful as gold! 

And we don’t even have to go to the Good Book to learn about struggles; listen to these quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. He says first: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And the corollary to that is; Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! That’s why so many of this young generation are so soft and sappy and whiny, because they have had most everything given to them by us doting parents. They never had to struggle or work hard for something, so therefore there is no real appreciation of anything they have or get. 

In their minds the world owes them a living. And that’s a big disservice we’ve done to them. No wonder most of them have no belly or backbone, and are quick to throw in the towel as soon as hard times show up. 

Oh my people, everybody goes through struggles and hard times, whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, Muslim, Jew, or whatever, but where we believers win out over the others is that we have the rich and faithful promises of our God to depend on. 

We know for instance that as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)  

Yes my struggling and suffering fellow believers, our God promises never to give or allow us to bear more than we can handle and will either make a way out for us, or give us the wherewithal to endure it. He doesn’t always make us escape it, but more often than not He brings us safely through it. Another way to boost our faith and make us spiritually strong, more Christ-like, which is the basic goal for all believers. 

That brings us to our Bit, another crucial promise from our ever-faithful God. In the momentous words of Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! Only we Christians are assured that our omnipotent, ever-LOVING God will work out everything in our favour eventually, according to His timetable! It’s all a matter of faith, of belief, of patience and perseverance my people! 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”  

And for those of us who want to know what Job 13:15 says but are too lazy to look it up, let me spoon feed you. (smile) Job defends his integrity before his condescending and self-righteous friends by declaring of God: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine (defend my) own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Just thought I’d throw in verse 16 for good measure. (smile) 

And the scholars say of ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, in these godless, deceitful and evil times, that is the kind of faith we believers need to have, an unquenchable kind, if we’re going to see it through to a victorious end!  

And we’ll conclude with these fateful words of Jesus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Much LOVE!

…Christians have to understand that struggles are a part of human life…but we have the certain promise of victory in the end…to see us through life’s storms in the middle…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2016 Judges 5:3

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

One more day in the life friends, one more day in the life! And what a blessed day it always is when you are being led by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, as we Christians are supposed to be! 

Our Divine Creator and Provider always has His eyes on us; on each and every one of those who sincerely worship and revere Him. Not one single hair from our head falls out without His knowledge. That’s how closely He monitors our well-being. 

And the joyful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sincerely cares for us and faithfully fills all of our needs!’ echoes across the land from the mouths of God’s people. 

Oh friends, how wonderful that sentiment would be if it came from the mouths of many of the current unbelievers. And that’s our job; to show the unbeliever how wonderful it is to work and live for Jesus; not only by our words, but even more importantly by our actions. Remember actions speak louder than words. 

Unfortunately though, the actions of too many supposed Christians don’t jive with their words, or the lifestyle espoused by Jesus in His earthly sojourn, and expected of His disciples down through the ages. 

Where is the unconditional LOVE, the compassion, the caring for those less fortunate, for the homeless and hungry, the widows and orphans, the strangers, the downtrodden, the sick and suffering, the lost that Jesus came to save. As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) 

So my people, why are so many of our brothers and sisters suffering such want and deprivation when there is such abundance eh? It obviously means that we, first as individual believers, and the church, as the earthly body or organization of Christ are not fulfilling our Christian mandate. That doesn’t speak very highly of us my fellow believers. 

Oh my brethren, it’s in these times of full-scale greed, selfishness, corruption, ungodliness, widespread poverty and suffering that Christ’s church and the people involved need to stand up and be counted. Jesus is depending on us to successfully carry out His LOVE Revolution, and we obviously can’t do that from the comfort and ease of our living rooms. 

Friends, we need to get up and get going; place Jesus sincerely in the depths of our hearts and souls, so that we go can out and proselytize, evangelize, and do whatever it takes to bring Christ to those who don’t know Him. 

Remember His last instructions to the disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Friends, those disciples did their thing and brought a whole lot of believers to Jesus. It’s now our turn, but we’re not doing so well because we’re afraid of what the world will say, and also too taken up with the things of the world. Remember friends, following Jesus is not all wine and roses, in fact it entails plenty hard work and a fair amount of suffering, but it is all worth it in the end. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) Yes my people, there’s nothing to fear, the Lord will work everything out for our good eventually. And remember too that Jesus said He would always be with us, right to the very end, so we’ll never be alone. Jesus will always be alongside us. 

And then we have this wonderful scripture: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken, befallen) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that yea are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

So my people, we have all the tools and the protection to go out and do the work that Jesus has called us to do. Let’s develop some belly and backbone and go and do it nuh; stop being fearful, stop making excuses and stop allowing the lusts of the flesh to hold us back from performing our bounden duty; the Great Commission. And that’s my spiel for the day. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Bit about giving our great God the praise and glory He so rightfully deserves. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ Yes my people, that is what we were created to do! 

But sadly in this modern age and supposedly progressive times, we have forgotten about God and are foolishly putting our trust in man and the destructible things of the world. And we’ll continue looking at some scriptures of praise, hoping they will make a serious impact on us. 

Let’s begin with the confession of the priests and Levites after Ezra read the law to the Israelites and they repented and fasted. ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ (Neh.9:5b) That’s the awesome truth friends! Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 9 –Praise for God’s justice. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2) 

Yes my brethren, that how we’re supposed to operate as true believers. And even when times are rough, we can say: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation) and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we’ll close with these well-known verses from Hebrews. ‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate (share) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ (Heb.13:15-16) 

Ah friends, I can only encourage us to do better and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in all our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to the bettering of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Much LOVE!

…when thanks and praise flow from our hearts…God opens the windows of heaven and pours down His wonderful blessings on us…

 

 

 

 

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