Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2008 1 Kings 8:61‏

1 Kings 8:61    Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
 
And all God’s people said, Amen! Yes Friends, cause that’s how we should all be living; walking in God’s statutes and obeying His dictates. Moses warned the Israelites about associating with the people they found in the promised land. ‘Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.’ (Deut.18:13) But they still got involved with the heathen there, and got in trouble with God. Then Solomon, on the day he dedicated the ark in the temple he built to honour God, similarly challenged the people. After giving thanks and praise to Jehovah, Sol blessed them with a loud voice, saying, ‘Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not faileth one word of all his good promise which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us or forsake us.’  (vs.56-57) Sol also asked God to help them be obedient, to remember his prayer and provide for them as He saw fit. ‘That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.’ (vs.60) ‘Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God…’ But sadly Friends, that momentous occasion, and the many others in Sol’s long, distinguished life were eventually overshadowed: For ‘it came to pass when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David, his father.’ (1Kings 11:4) Oh People, it’s truly heart rending when a great man like Sol falls from grace, through failure to listen to his own advice. Bruh David was a rogue and a scoundrel in his own way, but despite all his wrongdoing, he never forgot his God. He knew exactly on which side his bread was buttered. Friends, so should we. It’s very easy to be led astray, so we’ve got to be very careful whom we associate with and listen to. We can’t always associate with believers, since the world’s filled with unbelievers, whom we’re expected to bring to Christ. That means we’ll find ourselves in their company quite a bit, if we’re doing Christ’s work. However, our heart must be perfect with the Lord; our faith so strong, that our associates will follow us, and not we them. Unlike poor Sol, who after being such a faithful champion of the Lord, ended up a pagan, doing evil in His sight. Unfortunately, after Sol, there was a succession of Kings in Judah and Israel who did evil in the sight of the Lord; Jeroboam, Rehoboam and his son Abijam. But Abijam’s son, ‘Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord..’ (1Kings 15:11) He removed all his father’s pagan stuff, except the high places; ‘nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.’ (1 Kings 15:14) And there are others, like Hezekiah, who made mistakes, but whose heart was right and the Lord healed him. (2 Kings 20:3) Yes Friends, it’s not easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can not only endure but conquer. Our hearts though, must be in tune with God’s desires, our intentions must be sincere, cause that’s what the Lord requires and looks for. So let’s try and perfect our heart with Him, and walk in obedience to His will, from this day onward. Much LOVE!…in God’s eyes…it’s always…the true state of our hearts…that matters most…
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2008 2 Corinthians 10:17-18‏

2 Corinthians 10:17-18    But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
 
So true Friends, so true! In Chap.10 of his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, Bruh Paul talks about his spiritual authority. Like there were certain allegations concerning his divine dealings. ‘…wherewith I think to be bold against some which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.’ (vs.2-4) His naysayers claimed that he was not properly anointed to minister and he just appropriated his apostleship, simply took it upon himself to become an apostle. Now he’s rebutting their claims, that though he lives in a human body, he doesn’t fight by human standards, but spiritually, by ‘casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (vs.5) Ah Friends, even if he usurped the apostleship, he certainly had a powerful desire to serve Christ, and was well versed in the scriptures, always having the perfect quote to back up his practical plans. In vs.5 there, he is referring to 1 Cor.1:19. ‘For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ That itself refers to Isaiah 29:4. He is able to back up his strong talk. Then he talks about judging by outward appearances; that if anyone thinks they are of Christ, so is he, and if he should ever deign to boast of the power God gave him to encourage others, to build them up, rather than destroy them, he wouldn’t be ashamed, cause that was his strength. But he wouldn’t compare himself ‘with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.’ (vs.12) That’s something we’re all guilty of people; comparisons. Who’s better than whom? But as Bruh Paul says, that’s not wise, since most of the time we’re not comparing similar things, but apples with oranges, and even the odd time we do compare like things, it does us no good, only breeds, envy, jealousy, strife and unhappiness. We must accept that the Lord made us all with different capabilities to different levels. That’s why Bruh Paul wouldn’t boast about things beyond his capabilities, only to what God granted him, which was to reach out to unbelievers, like the Corinthians, and preach the gospel of Christ. He wouldn’t take credit for what others did either, only for his own labour, and in their case, he would wait until their faith was enlarged, their church grew strong, before accepting any accolades. However, he ends by ensuring the Corinthians understood what he said was not vanity or conceit, that in the final analysis, whatever he achieved came from God. ‘But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.’ That’s the Christian way Friends, cause we’re just the conduits, passing on God’s Word, and the results are not a cause for chest thumping. And, as Bruh Paul states in 1 Cor.3:5. ‘So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither is he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.’ Let’s remember that Friends. Much LOVE!…in Christ’s work…there’s no room whatsoever…for pride…or boasting…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2008 1 John 2:1-2‏

1 John 2:1-2    My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
 
What a powerful and reassuring bit of scripture Friends! And if anyone should know the intricacies of our faith, it’s John, the harbinger of Jesus’ coming, who blazed a trail for Him, then faithfully walked beside Him in His earthly ministry, listening to Him pour His heart out, offering salvation to any, who would only believe. John seems quite concerned about his readers, writing to them, explaining stuff, so that they would be aware of the correct doctrine and not fall into sin because of false teaching or ignorance, which he deals with in Chapter 1. However, if anyone sins, and because of our inherently sinful nature, that’s expected, ‘we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ Oh Friends, please Bless His Holy name! He’s like a lawyer for us before the court of God. He works on our behalf, sinning believers, to restore us to fellowship with the Father, through the sufficiency of His blood to conquer all sin; past, present and future. Not only is he our advocate with the Father, but also, ‘He is the propitiation for our sins;’ an atoning sacrifice for us. He bore the punishment in His body to pay for our sins, thereby satisfying God’s requirement that sin be punished. ‘Whom God had set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.’  (Rom.3:25) Yes Friends, Bruh Paul at his highfalutin best. (smile) But it’s only through faith, that Jesus’ death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. And only through His blood, shed as a living sacrifice, was atonement for our sins gained.  ‘…and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ What a marvellous humanitarian is our Saviour Jesus! He died to reconcile the whole world to His Father. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) John knew it, having been forewarned by the Father. ‘Upon whom thou shalt see the spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth  with the Holy Ghost.’ (John 1:33) And as Jesus came towards him, John says, ‘I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him… And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:32,34) So there was absolutely no doubt in John’s mind about Jesus being whom He said He was. That means Friends, when we consider sin, we should not treat it lightly, for Jesus paid the ultimate price with His sinless life, with His Holy blood, that was shed on our behalf, to cleanse the evil in us. We would not have done it. So let’s take sin and evil as seriously as they warrant nuh. Let’s not make Jesus’ sacrifice and advocacy a wasted effort. Much LOVE!…to be worthwhile…advocates and sacrifices…must be used to the fullest…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2008 Acts 5:39‏

Acts 5:39    But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 
Now that’s a fight we’ll never win Friends; remember that. The apostles had been healing and teaching Christ crucified around Jerusalem. This angered the high priest and his sect, the Sadducees, so through the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Council, they had the apostles imprisoned. ‘But the angel of the Lord by night opened the doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning and taught.’ (Acts 5:19-21) All power to God, Friends! He turned the joke on the council, who thought they had the apostles safely out of the way, in jail. And were they surprised and confused when the apostles went missing, with the prison normal. They had no idea of their whereabouts until told that they were teaching in the temple. This raised both their ire and laughingstock level, and sent the guard to arrest the apostles again, which they did, but without violence, afraid the people would turn into a riotous mob and stone them. And with the Lord directing His script, the drama heightens. When the apostles appear before the council, the high priest berates them for preaching in Jesus’ name, after they’d been explicitly warned not to. The council feared that through the apostles teaching, they would be blamed for Jesus’ death. But in the face of such adversity, the apostles stood strong, proclaiming, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ (Acts 5:38) This only increased the council’s anger and they voted to slay the apostles. But strangely, Bruh Paul’s teacher, Gamaliel, was the one wise, dissenting voice. He recounted the many false Messiahs who had appeared through the ages, but had amounted to nothing, and their followers had simply disbanded after their deaths. ‘And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought.’ (vs.38) ‘But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.’ Of course not, for Jesus said, ‘I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist.’ (Luke 21:15) Also,’Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor.1:25) And Gamaliel ends, ‘lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.’ A fight they’d been unsuccessfully waging for years. ‘Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.’ (Acts 7:51). Bruh Paul himself learned that from hard experience when he got knocked down by heavenly light, on his way to persecute more believers in Damascus, and the Lord told him, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’ (Acts 9:5) So,through one man’s timely wisdom, the Lord saved the lives of the apostles. But they were beaten, commanded not to preach Jesus and released. ‘And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.’ (Acts.5:41-42) All praise to the Lord’s power people! They can berate and beat, even kill our physical bodies, but not the spirit that’s filled with the Word. Let’s go forth and do likewise, so that future generations will look back on our witness with pride, as we do on that of the original apostles. Much LOVE!…there’s no battle as worthy…as the Lord’s…so fight it…tooth and nail…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2008 Psalm 9:1-2‏

Psalm 9:1-2    I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High. 
 
Ah Friends, this was one of those days when the ole fella’s bones refused to cooperate with his mind. Getting on in age is such fun eh. (smile) That meant the spirit was a tad lacking in enthusiasm too, causing me to declare today, ‘A Thanks and Praise Day,’ for we all know that nothing lifts the spirit, buoys the soul, as offering LOVE and gratitude to our Creator. So off I went seeking something suitable. Looked all over, except yuh know where, but fortunately, or unfortunately, couldn’t find anything that moved me. Yes Friends, eventually the Lord led me back to Bruh David, cause He knows that no one does it better. And it wasn’t easy finding something new from Bruh Dave either, since we’ve been using them up quite liberally. But people, when the Lord’s your guide, anything’s possible. And though it’s been a somewhat rough day, ‘My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:34) Yes fellow believers, like Bruh David, we must have enough confidence in our God, to sing out loudly and proudly, ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart;’ That’s the only way to go when you’re serving the Lord; with your whole heart, soul and mind; with every every fibre of your being. ‘I will show forth all thy marvellous works.’ But nuh must Friends! If our God’s so great and powerful, then we’ve got to tell, to educate others about Him, so that they too can share in the joy of His glorious kingdom. Sharing, not selfishness was Jesus’ motto. ‘I will rejoice and be glad in thee.’ That’s for certain sure people! And as Bruh David advises: ‘Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.’ (Ps.5:11) Better advice was never given Friends, so please hearken unto it. ‘For thou Lord wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.’ (Ps.5:12) Can’t think of better reasons to trust and be joyful in the Lord. Oh people, the ole fella’s completely confused now, joyfully though, for I’m discovering so many beautiful, appropriate words of praise, that I don’t know what to use. But it will turn out fine, for the Lord is our guide and keeper, and ‘I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ Of course! That ‘s the whole purpose of this exercise. Yes, ‘It’s a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:’ (Ps.92:1) ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ So Friends, let’s ‘Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.’ (Ps.9:10-11) ‘That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.’ (Ps.83:18) And all God’s people said, Amen! Told yuh Friends, that it would turn out fine. Hope it sparked a flame of joyful enthusiasm in your soul, as it did in mine. (smile) Much LOVE!…it always pays…to be joyful in the Lord…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2008 Ecclesiastes 3:14‏

Ecclesiastes 3:14    I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
 
That’s the honest truth Friends. The Preacher got it right: anything our God does will endure forever. We can’t say that about any other Being. And neither can anything be added or taken away from the works of our God. ‘And God doeth it, that men should fear before him,’ Now Friends, that doesn’t mean fear in the literal sense of the word, though we all should have a little pocket of healthy fear, just because of His awesome power, but to revere, respect and honour Him, to submit our lives to Him and His Holy ways. For, ‘Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firtsfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:18) He made us as the showpiece of His creations; higher than all the rest of them. And it’s noteworthy that He put His most brilliant invention, the brain, only in humans, closest to His intelligence, so that we could comprehend His basic ways. That’s why God is active in earthly activity. We’re His prized possessions, and it’s His intention to have unity amongst all His children, so in some way, He’s involved in every aspect of our lives. James says that ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) And John concurs: ‘…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’  (John 3:27) So whatever good things we receive, originates with our Creator and Father in heaven, whose work is eternal and immutable. It lasts forever, and does not change. Knowing this Friends, forces us to conclude that if anything or anyone changes, it will have to be us and our lives, because the Lord sets the tone. He sets the rules for us and for the universe He created. His work and behaviour is set in stone, we are the ones who need to adapt to His unchanging position. Sadly though, in the last generation, it seems we have lost the respect and reverence, the esteem in which we once held the Most High God, Jehovah. Now, godless, more than godly, appears to be the new reality. Some people can’t wait to get Him out of their lives. But how wise is it to turn away from the one who created you and keeps you going in this sinful world eh? Not wise at all Friends, downright foolish to be sure, since that will only lead to death and eternal damnation, when sticking with Him has the wonderful promise of salvation and eternal life. People, we can be sure of one thing; the Lord’s not going to change. So if we want to enjoy the good and perfect gifts he has to offer, then we’ve got to meet His conditions and also help others to meet them. It’s our job to turn the godless trend back around to godly. Let’s get out there and do it with pride and enthusiasm nuh Friends. It’s the Lord’s desire. Much LOVE!…if to every thing there’s a season…then this is the season of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2008 Proverbs 19:21‏

Proverbs 19:21    There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
 
Of that Friends, there’s no doubt whatsoever. We all have lots of plans; good, bad and indifferent, running through our hearts and minds, but it’s always, I repeat, it’s always the Lord’s purpose that will prevail. He is the one that ultimately decides what will or will not happen. The old folks knew this. That’s why they always clarified their plans: Tomorrow we’ll do such and such, the Lord willing; or the Lord give me strength; or God smile on me. They knew that if the Most High wasn’t involved, wasn’t in agreement, no matter how glorious their plans, the chance of success was nil. For as Solomon points out; ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.’ (Prov.21:2) We always think we know best, or have the best plans, but there are a couple of sayings that disproves that theory, and reminds us that; ‘The best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray.’ ‘Man plans, but God disbands.’ So it’s never wise to trumpet your plans too much, even if they are morally, ethically and spiritually appropriate. We’ve all been victims of well laid plans that did not come to fruition, ultimately because the Lord chose to abort them, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s the pride thing that displeases Him or what. So Friends, we’ve got to beware of those grandiose schemes, even though they be well intentioned. A lot of time, effort and money can be wasted, causing immense disappointment and heartache. I can vouch for that from hard experience. It all looks good on paper, and everyone agrees that it’s a wonderful, can’t miss plan; but we’ve reckoned without the Lord. And sometimes,even when we seek His approval, and appear to have it, things still go awry. Ah People, who knows why eh? But as the Lord says, His ways are different and higher than ours, and He’s running the show, so we don’t have much choice but to accept His will. Bruh James says it best: ‘Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not,to him it is sin.’  (James 4:13-17) So Friends, we’ve just got to do our best; make our plans with Him in mind, try to stay in His good graces, and learn to roll with the punches, always believing that disappointments come because He’s testing us, and He has something better in store. Let us also remember in our hearts, His absolute promise that it will all turn out right eventually, for it always does, to those who LOVE God. As always, in closing, I wish you, Much LOVE!…make your plans…but…plan for God too…
 

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