Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. 
 

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2012 Psalm 89:48

Psalm 89:48.     What man is he that liveth, and shall not see (experience) death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand (power) of the grave?   Selah.
 
Oh Friends, when will it end eh? When will we learn that those who live by the gun, die by the gun? The U.S. is so proud of its gun culture, that in some states people legally walk around with guns plainly showing in their waist bands, and it’s easy as pie to buy firearms down there. Unfortunately, another massacre, this time of 20 elementary school children and some 8 adults took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut yesterday. It seems like the 20 year old shooter first took his mother’s life at her home, then did his evil deed at the school, including his own life. Oh people, what does it say about our society when it’s the youth, the young people who are committing such atrocities? Not a hell of a lot! We obviously are not raising them right. And yet the criminal, but very powerful gun lobby in the U.S spends millions of dollars every year to keep gun control off the law books, rationalizing it with their right to bear arms. Steups! This past year they even sent representatives and money to lobby the Canadian Government when those fools were intent on repealing the Gun Registry law, despite the call of all law enforcement agencies and the majority of citizens for it to stay in force. But with the Conservative majority in Parliament, that law is now history. Even the data, the Feds want to destroy. And with their culture being the biggest U.S. export, the lax gun laws down there are obviously contributing to our gun problems up here, where smuggled guns are now fairly cheap and easily obtained, where in this past year we’ve seen several daylight shootings in public places, with no apparent fear of, or respect for the law. And again it’s mostly young people committing these crimes. I don’t understand the Feds up here nuh; they claim to be coming down harder on gun crimes, but are killing legislation that helps to keep the guns somewhat in check. It seems that it’s only when the families and friends of the gun manufacturers, the gun dealers, gun enthusiasts and greedy, spineless politicians are gunned down by some disturbed person that we’ll wake up and realize the stupidity of it all. Anyway, on a less fearful note, but still on the subject of death, here’s a quote I planned to share even before I heard about the terrible tragedy in Connecticut. The quote is attributed to American socialist philosopher, Corliss Lamont (1902-1995), and says: ‘The wise man looks at death with honesty, dignity and calm, recognizing that the tragedy it brings is inherent in the great gift of life.’ Oh Friends, the statement makes sense, because we all know that one day we will meet our Maker, but nonetheless death is a subject we still can’t handle and try our best to ignore. Believers in Jesus Christ though should not fear death, because it’s after this earthly demise that the real good life and living begins, in the company of the Holy Trinity for eternity. No wonder Bruh Paul, given a choice would have opted for being with Christ in the spirit, rather than on earth in the flesh. And as our Bit says: ‘What man is he that liveth, and shall not see (experience) death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand (power) of the grave?  Selah.’ The answers Friends are NONE and NO! Nowlet’s look at some scriptures re death, that inspire us and give us hope. The psalmist in Psalm 116, Praise for deliverance from death, says it thus: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ (Ps.116:15) And every believer knows that to be the undeniable truth! Meanwhile Isaiah staunchly proclaims: ‘He (God) will swallow up death in victory (forever); 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.25:8-9) Gospel truth Friends, pure gospel truth made real in the person of Jesus! ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ (John 5:24) And all of that led Bruh Paul to make his famous pronouncement, quoting Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14. ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Cor.15:54-55) Then we come to the final times in Revelation, where Jesus having overcome death, and speaking from His spot of power at the right hand of the Father, tells John: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.’ (Rev.1:17-18) And all God’s children breathed a sigh of relief and intoned a heartfelt; ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Then in His message to the church at Smyrna, Jesus says to them: ‘Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried (tested); and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.’ (Rev.2:10-11) And that second death is the eternal punishment, separation, when Lucifer and his cohorts are cast into the lake of fire. (Rev.21:3-4) That means if you aren’t saved, you’ll suffer eternal separation from Jesus, a thought too terrible to even contemplate. Then Friends, shall the great day come, when the New Jerusalem, the New Earth is brought into being, and with it, this wonderful news. ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) Oh my brethren, it can’t get any better than that, but to enjoy it you must be saved, with your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. So please turn to Jesus today, RIGHT NOW, unless you want to be cast into the lake of fire at the final judgement. Jesus gave up too much for us to act so cowardly and foolishly. Much LOVE!…in death with Jesus…there’s life for ever…Glory Hallelujah…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2012 Psalm 139:1

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
 
Oh Friends, another day has dawned bright and beautiful in the north country! Praise the Lord, for He is worthy to be praised! Are you feeling the excitement, the enthusiasm and the zest for life that a new day brings? I sure hope so, because otherwise you’ll be missing out on God’s goodness, the new mercies and blessings He’s planned for us every day. It’s a simple matter Friends; if we’re alive, then we might as well enjoy life, especially since that’s one of the reasons Jesus died: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means Christians ought to be generally speaking, joyful, happy people, both internally and externally, starting right down here on earth, not waiting until we get to heaven! We should definitely not be the dragging, sad, poor me one, head down caricatures that so many of us are. Why would anybody want to come to Jesus if His followers demeanour and disposition is sad and sour eh? So please pluck up my people! Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, (Neh.8:10) therefore let’s display a sunny disposition to all and sundry, so that they can wonder why we’re always so pleasant and gracious even in times of despair. That’s the attitude that draws others to Jesus! And we’re able to display that wonderful attitude because of the everlasting presence and power of God abiding in us. Thus Bruh David could truthfully declare in our Bit: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ That’s true of all practicing Christians! The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. And as Bruh David continues: ‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandeth my thought afar off. Thou compasseth (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it all together.’ (Ps.139:2-4) Yeh Friends, the Lord made us and knows everything about us – from our very beginning to our very end! Now let’s hear some interesting commentary on Psalm 139 from the scholars. ‘Certainly one of the grandest psalms in all of the Psalter. It is also one of the richest theologically. It combines and exposition of the greatness of God’s character with the reality of human experience. From verses 19-22 we find that David wrote the psalm during a time of opposition. It therefore contains truths that were meaningful to him during these troublesome times. They may be summarized under four key thoughts as David addresses the Lord: You know me (vv. 1-6), You are with me (vv.7-12), You created me (vv.13-18), and Your cause is my cause (vv.19-24)’ And that’s the gospel truth Friends! The psalm is definitely rich in the ways of our God, His attributes and the wonderful way in which He interacts with His sinful children! But getting back to the core of our Bit; about searching and knowing the heart of each child, let’s hear some other scriptures describing God’s detailed involvement and interaction with us in every facet of our lives. And there’s no better place to start than with Job’s immortal statement of faith: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) Yes my friends, the Lord knows us inside out, and will test us through trials and tribulations to gauge the strength of our faith. It’s definitely one of the ways He uses to get our attention, and consequently to build our faith. I can attest to that from personal experience. It’s not always easy, but it’s certainly worthwhile! Meanwhile, Jeremiah in his complaint about the prosperity of the wicked and the happiness of the treacherous, also declares: ‘But thou, O Lord, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried (tested) my heart toward thee…’ (Jer.12:3) Ah mih people, walking with Jesus will bring constant tests and trials until the day we breathe our last breath and go over yonder to meet Him in glory! So please don’t despair when troubles come your way. It is merely our great God testing us, putting us through our paces to see how real, right and true our hearts are towards Him. And remember too, He never gives us more than we can bear, and always provides the tools we need to do what He asks. That’s why He’s such a wonderful Deity! And in recognition of His ‘wonderfulness’ (smile) all God’s people, with unspeakable joy and gratitude declared a mighty ‘Amen!’ More on this tomorrow Friends, if we wake to see another brilliant sunrise. Till then, let’s truly LOVE our God, with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, and our neighbours as ourselves. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to be with Him awhile…makes it all worthwhile…