Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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!’ 

And as we do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

And then it was Tuesday my friends – Easter Tuesday! Now that means it’s also time for the great spectacle of goat races in Tobago! 

Yes my brethren, it’s time to get us down to Buccoo and enjoy an afternoon of goat races and great partying at possibly the only stadium in the world built to host that sport. Only in T&T, you say! 

They had a small offering while I was there the other day and it was really enjoyable. I hadn’t seen goat races in many a year. I vaguely remember the last time as being completely wasted and partying down the place with a friend’s sister on the verandah of a house near the track. 

Ah Lord eh! Those were the days! In those times they had individual parties at houses that surrounded the track. But now, progress has come along, and it’s held in a brand new state of the art facility, with all the amenities; food, drink, music, etc, all in one place. So don’t hesitate to check it out. (smile) 

And since Today is Tuesday, it’s of the utmost importance that we declare our Tuesday Mantra, with sincerity, joy and a true sense of belief and purpose. 

All together now: ‘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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly who we are, the beloved of God; a fact that NO ONE can take away from us. So as many of us go back out to work after the long Easter weekend, let’s hold that thought, that fact, close to our hearts, and let it empower us as we go about our day, doing the Lord’s work. 

Let’s remember too that Jesus is our friend, in fact our BEST Friend; one who sticketh, stands closer with us than a brother, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 18:24. And basically, all we are called to do is share His LOVE with the world. Now that shouldn’t be too hard to do, should it? (smile) 

Unfortunately though, our world today is not interested in true LOVE, the agape, the brotherly kind of LOVE that Jesus desires to share. But friends, we’ve got to keep on keeping on and pursue our vocation to LOVE with a strong, never-ending zeal, for that’s what makes us true believers and followers of the triumphantly risen Christ! 

Now here is something from our One Year book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘At Such Times.’ 

And it says: ‘God, there are times In the midst of heartache and heartbreak When there is no comfort, no solace Anywhere at all. There are times When in my crumbling state of mind I feel I can no longer endure – Not for a day, not even an hour. 

It is at such times, O God That I draw heavily upon Your unfathomable LOVE. At such times I implore Your transforming peace. At such times I live By the power and promises Of a Father who cares infinitely more Than I can begin to grasp or comprehend. Today, dear God, is a “such time.” 

Oh my precious and beautiful people of God, I’m sure that resonates so truthfully with us all, because there are times in all our lives when we feel lost and alone, and Almighty God is the ONLY One who understands our situation, and the ONLY One who can provide us true solace and comfort! 

So let us never be afraid, ashamed or whatever, to call upon our heavenly Father for His peace and LOVE, because He’s always there, ready and able to help us. 

And the Biblical Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Yes friends, our God made that promise through Moses oodles of years ago, and it still stands even to this day! 

And all God’s people loudly declared: ‘O heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises! We don’t always put our full trust in them, but deep down we know that they are solid, solid as a rock, and that You will never renege on any of them, because You are a faithful and true God. 

Please help us to stand more securely on the many promise You have made to us over the years, for that is the only way we will ever successfully handle the evil and ungodly world that now surrounds us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.’ 

And one of the best-known instances of our God going before His people and neither forsaking nor failing them is this passage from Exodus when the Lord took the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. 

‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

And please note the last verse there friends. I believe the writer added it to assure us that God did keep His promise for the long haul. And we’ll close with these words from the scholars re the pillars of cloud and fire. 

’13:21. This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh, which later filled the tabernacle (40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek 8-11). 

This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the second coming of Christ (Ezek.43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people (Is.4:5). It guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf.14:19-20).’ 

Oh friends, what a faithful and mighty God we serve. Please never let us forget that. Much LOVE!

…the God of Israel…faithful and true…is His name and nature… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness. Just too much late night Easter Monday partying. (smile) Much LOVE!