Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful 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 having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2021 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.      So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).

More new mercies and compassions from heaven on this new morning friends! Wow! Who else blesses His people with such wonderful gifts each and every day eh? No One but the mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So why do so many of us obstinately refuse to praise and worship Him eh? Just stupid, sinful human pride yes! We think because we’ve reached such glorious heights of evolution that we are the rulers of our own destiny…

Hn! What a joke! And if we’re so great, why can’t we avoid things like death and taxes eh? (smile) Because we are not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yeh, I know that we are supposed to be the smartest and most wonderful creation in the universe. But we certainly don’t show our wisdom when we deliberately turn away from our Creator, the One and Only Living God Jehovah and worship all sorts of idols and dead things that can do absolutely nothing for us. 

And though the Jewish people way back in time might have been dense and obstinate, when life got rough and tough with them because of their disobedience, they immediately turned back to the God of their forefathers and were once more gently and LOVINGLY ensconced in the arms of their Creator. But not this generation of humanity! 

Because of the medical and technological strides we’ve made, we simply think that we are so great, we don’t need anybody else, especially some God far away in someplace called heaven. So this pandemic that’s been riding roughshod over our world for over a year now, and shows no signs of really going away anytime soon, hasn’t even made us think about returning to the fold of God. Instead, many of us are still touting the disgraceful and foolish idea of ridding our society of God period! 

That’s why Moses in his only psalm, Psalm 90, and thus the oldest one in the Psalter, wrote these marvellous words of truth and wisdom. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (place of refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ ( Ps. 90:1-2) Yes friends, those statements must have great truth in them because no other human being had as much intimacy with God as Moses did. So he should know a thing or two about God. 

And thus, he continues: ‘Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men.’ (Ps. 90:3) And that’s exactly what our heavenly Father is pleading with us to do right now in these sick and oh so turbulent times my people! Our magnificent and magnanimous God desperately wants us to come back to his fold, so that He can heal both us and our land. But instead of listening to and obeying Him, we are becoming more stubborn, arrogant, prideful, disobedient and stupid with each passing day! 

Listen to how Moses explains it nuh. ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled (terrified).’ (Ps. 90:4-7) 

Yes my brethren, we ought to be terrified at God’s wrath, but obviously we are not, if we’re still being totally sinful, disobedient and ungodly! And any sensible creation would realize that something is dreadfully wrong with its way of life if at one and the same time its world is being plagued by sickness and poverty, strife and all kinds of natural disasters, even to the point of abnormal weather patterns. But no, mankind, the supposed greatest creation ever, doesn’t seem to think anything’s seriously wrong with his immoral, sinful and godless lifestyle. It’s not a factor in the troubled times he’s now experiencing. 

But hear Moses again nuh: ‘Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told (a mere sigh). The days of our years are three score years and ten (our lives are seventy years long); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.’ (Ps. 90:8-11) 

Friends, please, let’s wake up and realize that our God is not a joke or a plaything. He’s been in existence long before we were, and will still be there long after we aren’t! Remember a thousand years to Him is only like a night watch, three hours, and consequently our lives are like a vapour that floats away after a li’l time. It’s ‘like a blade of grass that sprouts, fades, withers, and dies in a day.’ So why do we insist on being so arrogant, stubborn, prideful and disobedient eh, when we have no proper grounds to do so? 

As the old people would say ‘we just smelling our aram.’ Meaning we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, we believe ourselves to be wiser and more powerful than we really are. And these words of Moses, written so far back in the past, are surprisingly still of immense importance today. He writes: ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). Return, O Lord, how long? And let it repent thee concerning (have compassion on) thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ (Ps. 90:12-14) 

Yeh precious people, the indisputable truth is that our world will only get better if we turn back to our God in repentance and obedience. For regardless of what or how we think, in the long run, we are definitely not masters of our own fate! And the sooner we wake up and realize that li’l fact, the better off we’ll all be. Now, for those of us who already recognize it (smile), let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong 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 upshoot of that, is we must now go out and share that awesome LOVE and amazing friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…it’s so wonderful living and working for Jesus…but not always easy… (smile)                                                                                                     

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8