Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2009 Psalm 51:17‏

Psalm 51:17     The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another day! We’ve been graciously given another chance by our most forgiving and merciful God to put our  wrongs of yesterday behind us and begin afresh today. What a generous and magnanimous deity! Today’s Bit is taken from Bruh David’s prayer for cleansing and forgiveness after he’d sinfully lain with Bathsheba and caused her husband Uriah to be purposely killed in battle, but making it look natural. Bruh David knew that he’d done a great wrong, committed much sin, so when the prophet Nathan accused him to his face, he was quick to repent and ask for the Lord’s mercy. ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me.’ (Ps.51:1-3) The point is that Bruh David knew he was doing wrong when he set his disgusting plan in action, and even when he seemed to have pulled it off successfully, I’m sure his conscience must have bothered him at times. Though he was a lusty man with human appetites, he was also deeply religious and faithful to God, and no one who’s really conscientious can live with such an awful sin and not have it rattle them occasionally. That’s why when Nathan confronted Bruh David, (2 Sam.12) letting him know that his sin was found out and would be publicly punished though committed in secret, he quickly repented. ‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.’ (2 Sam.12:13) In the psalm he writes: ‘Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou might be justified (be found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest,’ (Ps.51:4) I’ve always wondered how Nathan found out, but Friends that really doesn’t matter nuh, the important thing is that he did. And as Jesus said later on, anything done in darkness will surely come to light. (Luke 12:3) So it’s no use hiding our sins cause at some stage of the game they will come out publicly and make us look foolish and /or hypocritical, while God knows them from the beginning and sets the wheels in motion for us to pay the necessary price. Now the Lord forgave Bruh David. He did not strike him down, but he paid a hefty penalty for a moment’s lustful pleasure by losing his first born child by Bathsheba, some of his kingdom and serious problems with his children. Now was the pleasure worth the consequent pain? I doubt it. Friends, the Lord knew that Bruh David was human and thus capable of sin, but such a terrible conspiracy was certainly unbecoming of a man in his position, whom the Lord had specifically raised up to lead His people. In that respect he behaved just like Saul, jealous and vindictive. It was a rather poor example of leadership and faithfulness on Bruh David’s part, and what seems to have irked the Lord the most is that it gave His enemies an opportunity to blaspheme Him, it brought His Holy Name into sad disrepute. (2 Sam.12:14) Now in those times it was normal to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices in atonement for sins. However, as Samuel had sadly informed Saul, the previous king: ‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ (1 Sam.15:22) Bruh David obviously knew this, as he declares: ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offerings. (Ps.51:16) Fortunately he also knew what the Lord desired. ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart.’ Yes my people, that’s what our God requires of us, especially since Jesus’ death made burnt offerings and sacrifices unnecessary. Now it’s only the individual’s penitence that’s important. Is your spirit broken, has it been crushed? Have you been brought low enough to recognize your wrongdoing and admit it? And Friends, once that has been accomplished, are we ready to say we’re truly sorry and mean it, mean it so that God can look at our broken, humbled heart and see real repentance and sorrow? Isaiah also trumpeted this requirement. ‘For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ (Isa.57:15) Yes my people, God abides both in eternity and the hearts of the contrite and humble. Bruh David also expressed that sentiment. ‘The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of contrite spirit.’ (Ps.34:18) That says it all Friends. We have to be truly sorry for our wrongdoings if we expect the Lord to be merciful to us. We can’t just mouth the words, that feeling of humility, repentance and sorrow must dig deep in our souls, deep enough to bring about a substantial change in our behaviour, and turn us back from the lost, lustful jungle of the world, to the straight, narrow and righteous path of the Lord. Anything less than that is not acceptable in God’s eyes, my Friends. And as Bruh David rightfully claims; ‘O God, thou wilt not despise.’ That’s for sure my people. Our God will not despise us if we are truly repentant and contrite. Consequently, let us seriously attempt to live righteous and godly lives nuh, so that we won’t have to turn to God too often with sad, contrite, and repentant hearts. Much LOVE!…remember…prevention is always better than cure…
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2009 Genesis 50:20‏

Genesis 50:20     But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, our Lord is certainly something else yes! And though I’m sometimes sorrowful or overwhelmed by my problems, I have to laugh at His mysterious workings. Now I’ve written on this passage before, and been meaning to write something further on Bruh Joseph, for he isn’t acknowledged as much as my other two Bruh’s, David and Pablo, though his story is also of great importance and inspirational value in the Christian ethos. But the time just never seemed right. It is tonight though. The Good Lord decreed it. How do I know that? Well, for the last week or so I’ve been dealing with a problem I can’t seem to solve, even though I’ve prayed about it. Now it’s not a serious problem, but it still needs fixing, and you know it’s the small ones that we feel we should be able to fix, but can’t, that causes the most frustration. I’ve been biding my time, staying in faith, doing my part; been practicing all the things I preach, (smile), but this nagging problem still persists. The frustration here is that I have several avenues to pursue, but none clearly stand out as the best solution. So after writing yesterday’s Bit and talking about asking for a sign if we still don’t understand God’s plan, I did just that. And lo and behold Friends, to day I got an answer. I’d even forgotten that I’d asked for a sign. Talk about timing. As I keep saying, our God is the Master of Timing! Just when I was beginning to get real frustrated, a missive arrived from Uncle Charles, Charles Stanley. I support his outreach programme here in Canada and every month he sends out a two-page bulletin called ‘From the Pastor’s Heart,’ talking on some subject he deems important. Well mih people, this month’s bulletin was more than important, it was timely, very timely! And I just burst out laughing after I read the first two paragraphs cause it suddenly hit me that that was the sign I was seeking, for in it he talks about the trials and tribulation of Bruh Joseph, but how he maintained his sanity by steadfastly keeping his focus on God. Now we all know Bruh Joseph’s story: How as a teenager, the apple of his father Jacob’s eye, he went about in his coat of many colours, dreaming dreams, big ones. This dreamer’s attitude didn’t endear him to his older brothers, but when he told them of a dream that insinuated he would be a ruler over them someday, they really got fed up and conspired to kill him, but eventually sold him into slavery. He ends up in Egypt, a foreign country that he knows nothing of, or no one, can’t even speak the language, and for the next thirteen years experiences a real hell of a life on earth. Bruh Joseph must certainly have wondered if he’d read God’s dream right. How could he be a man of substance and power as a slave in a foreign culture? But people, he kept his eyes riveted on the God of his fathers. And Friends, when God is for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY! We know that the wealthy and influential Potiphar bought him and eventually made him custodian of all he owned because he saw that God was with him. Unfortunately the beady eyes of Potiphar’s wife lusted after him and since hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, she spoiled his good thing by falsely accusing him of sexual assault. So Bruh Joseph ends up in prison. But again Friends, he didn’t fret and complain, simply did his best and kept his focus on God. And the Lord blessed him in jail too, for the jailer saw his decent, even-tempered demeanour and also made him his right hand man. God’s contrary movements must surely have puzzled Bruh Joseph, but he kept hanging in. Even after he deciphered the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker, whom he asked to remember him and his innocence to Pharaoh when they got out, and they forgot him, he never rose up in anger. Well we can’t blame the baker cause he was hanged, but the butler for sure. But Friends, that’s the only time Bruh Joseph is ever quoted in the Good Book as asking for help in all his trials. (Gen.40:14-15) For two years after the butler got out he languished in prison, until the Lord was ready. He made Pharaoh dream a dream that none of his people could interpret. Only then the butler remembered him. But what’s always amazed me about Bruh Joseph is that through all his ‘sufferation’ the Good Book never mentions him getting angry, throwing a tantrum, being violent, crying woe is me, or none of that negative behaviour which one would normally expect under those unfortunate, unjust circumstances. He was an entirely different cup of tea to my other two Bruh’s, David and Pablo; the Renaissance man and the loudmouth, rabble-rouser. Neither of them would have gone quietly and said nothing, though they would have kept their faith. With that difference in personality, I tend to consider Bruh Joseph my soul brother. He was the quiet one who suffered in silence, just did his best at all times in a godly fashion and allowed his God to talk for him. He underwent all that injustice, like the Negro slaves did with patience and a quiet trust in God. That quiet trust eventually strengthened them and brought out the great spiritual songs from deep down inside. I can just imagine Bruh Joseph sitting in some quiet part of the jail and humming or singing some mournful, soulful tune to ease his hurt. Oh Friends, even when Bruh Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt, with all the worldly power and wealth available, like Jesus, he still made himself of little account, and whatever he accomplished, gave all the glory to God. When we talk about a right heart, we’re talking about one like Bruh Joseph’s. It’s also nice to see that he held no bitterness towards his traitorous family or those who wronged him because he finally realized why God had put him through the wringer so to speak; to teach him wisdom, patience, understanding and all the other things he needed to successfully hold the leadership position God had reserved for him, to keep life and limb together for his Hebrew family and his adopted Egyptian land during the times of deathly famine. So Friends, we must never give up on our god-given dreams, though the road be rough, rocky and unfair, for we never know what God has planned, but everything He allows in our lives has a purpose. And when we talk about patience, Job’s name is the one that usually comes to the fore, but I want to advocate Bruh Joseph’s instead. Job was a big, experienced man when he suffered his terrible tragedy, but consider Bruh Joseph, just seventeen when sold into slavery by his family no less, and all the other wrongful stuff he suffered, he made no noise, just took his misfortune in stride without any serious complaints, never got all hot and bothered like Job, fully trusting his God to work it out in His own way and time. His crowning glory though is Today’s Bit, showing his eventual understanding of God’s higher mental capacity and his often complicated methods of bringing what we consider simple things to pass. As he wisely said to his family at their reunification: ‘But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.’ Thanks Uncle Charles for reminding, encouraging and helping me to constantly keep my focus on the Lord, despite any difficulties I might face. Oh Friends, my problem is no closer to being solved, but my perspective has been renewed. I’m once again able to sit and wait patiently on the Lord. I sure hope this testimony shows that we all need encouragement at some time regardless of our level of Christian maturity, and that the Lord brings it to pass in ways we never expect. Please read the story of Bruh Joseph’s difficult but triumphal uplifting as he stayed purposed and focused on His God in Genesis Chapters 30-50. It’s a wonderful story that shows the kind of attitude we as believers must cultivate; though we have good grounds to carry on, yet we stay quiet and concentrate on God, and the good outcome we know He has for each of us, cause ‘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) Much LOVE!…as Uncle Charles says…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2009 Psalm 143:8‏

Psalm 143:8     Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another day of strife, struggle, violence, greed and bloodshed in our sorrowful world. When will it end eh? Instead of getting better, it seems to be getting worse. We hear of some new theatre of hate, anger, violence an blood-letting every day. In the grand scheme of things, most of us can’t do anything to stop it. However, in our own small way, in our little circle, we each can, have to, and must do something to at least tone it down. But we can’t do that unless we’re comfortable and well equipped within our own selves. And that’s not always easy to accomplish, especially in turbulent times like these. Let’s look at two ways though that can help. The first is via a quote by U.S President Lyndon B. Johnson, which says: ‘Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.’ And Friends, that’s the first step in helping ourselves; don’t dwell on our past, be it good, bad or indifferent. Now that doesn’t mean we should erase our past, but rather use it wisely; as a guide and sounding board for the future. We know the mistakes we’ve made, and hopefully why, which means we should not repeat them. The future might be shorter than the past, but there’s always the possibility that it can be more glorious because of the wisdom, life experience, friends, family and worldly belongings we’ve accumulated. We now know how to use them all to forward God’s purpose. The good things we’ve done are now pleasant memories for us to hold dear in our subconscious for the times when we are too old and doddering to make more new ones, then we can sit back quietly in our rocking chair, enjoy the ambience of the day, rock, remember them and smile. I don’t know about all yuh nuh mih Friends, but I haven’t lived my best life yet. I’m still hoping to make many more memories to reminisce and smile at later. As far as I’m concerned, the most glorious part of my life is yet to come, and I’m no spring chicken, so age doesn’t really matter all that much. In the meanwhile though, we all still have dreams, big ones, to fulfill, for remember, once we’re alive, we have hope: ‘For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope.(Eccl.9:4) ‘And hope maketh not ashamed. (Rom.5:5) So mih people, we’ve got to let go of the past and look hopefully, excitedly, enthusiastically and in faith towards the future; ‘forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ (Phil. 3:13) That’s the first piece of the puzzle my Friends. The next is almost like unto it, but not as easy. When the bitter battles of life rage around us and we don’t know whether we’re coming or going, when every minute, every hour, every day seems to provide a new frustration, another problem which we either don’t have the time or knowledge to solve, please try and relax and listen to our God. Oftimes that’s the source of our major frustration; we’ve moved away from God, cause He’ll never move away from us. In the busyness of our lives, we haven’t spent enough time studying His Word or communicating with Him. That means we need to turn back to Him in faith. The best thing to do when the frustrations are driving us crazy is to take a time out, relax and turn to Him. Possibly ask something like; ‘What will you have me to do now Lord? I’ve done all I can, and it seems like I’m going in circles, spinning top in mud.’ Yes Friends, the first thing to do is admit our inadequacy, then ask for forgiveness for not coming to Him sooner, trying to do it all on our own, which we know is impossible. Like Bruh David did, simply plead; ‘Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning: for in thee do I trust.’ That means we’ll have His mercy and blessing every day as soon as we awake. As the psalmist in Psalm 46, ‘God is our refuge and strength,’ maintains: ‘God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved (shaken): God shall help her, and that right early (at the break of dawn).’ (Ps.46:5) And since we trust and have surrendered our very being to Him, we need to ask for His guidance each and every day, because we don’t know how to proceed in our own strength; ’cause me to know wherein I should walk.’ Oh my people, the Lord will never lead us astray if we humbly ask Him to lead us on the often agonizing path of life. It’s what He desires most of all; our coming to Him for leadership and guidance. In one of his prayers for protection, Bruh David pleaded: ‘Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.’ (Ps.5:8) Ah my brethren, we can’t be anymore straightforward than that. Then acknowledge His Godliness and Fatherhood: ‘for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ Let him know our passion for Him, the fact that we look completely to Him for all things. He’s our sole and soul provider, all in one.. That’s how Bruh David began Psalm 25, another of his prayers for guidance and protection. ‘Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.’ (Ps.25:1) Offering our most precious possession, our soul, shows that we’re serious, and now ready to listen to Him and do as He says. Oh Friends, this is only a basic prescription for our ills, but if sincerely followed, will ease a lot of the pressure the world puts on us. It will seem simple to some and difficult to others, I guess it depends on our level of Christian maturity, but regardless, we all need to follow it, seriously and consistently. It’s not a one and done matter. And like all other Christian activities, we also need to have a right and sincere heart, for remember, though God hears our words, He judges us by the rightness of our hearts. And very important, when we stop to listen for God’s voice, please be very careful of what we think or believe we hear, for many voices will try to natter to us simultaneously, and God’s will most likely be the smallest and quietest of the lot. So don’t always accept the first or the loudest. And if we’re not sure, then ask Him for some kind of sign that shows we’re on the right track. He will oblige. Friends, let’s listen with our hearts to Jesus. Much LOVE!…the past belongs to the past…look to the future with Jesus…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2009 Proverbs 11:4‏

Proverbs 11:4     Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
 
And a fine good morning to you my worthy Friends, Neighbours and fellow believers in Christ! Today’s another cause for celebration, for we’re still alive to smell the roses and enjoy the many wonders of nature. Unfortunately though, we also have to put up with the topsy-turvy antics of life. And despite the fact that for many of us this earthly sojourn is a bitter battle, we’re not ready yet to give it up for the other life. We prefer to stick it out down here as long as possible, in the hope that we’ll eventually hit the jackpot, strike it rich, accumulate much earthly wealth so we can then lie back and live like a proverbial king. But Friends remember what happened to the man, the rich fool in Jesus’ parable, who had so much that he couldn’t store it, so he decided to break down his small barns and build bigger ones, but the Lord called him home that very night. Oh my people, we don’t have to run behind the garish wealth of this world, we can overcome whatever afflicts us and live a good, healthy, productive life if we just place our faith and trust in Jesus. Sol warned us long ago of the perils of pinning our hopes on earthly wealth. ‘Riches profit not in the day of wrath:’ And it’s so true, for come the day of judgement and justice, the Lord’s not going to ask how much earthly wealth we possessed, but rather what good we did with what we had? Did we share with a kind heart, did we help the sick and lonely, the poor and hungry? That’s what the Lord’s interested in, not how much you had. And they quite rightly say payback’s a bitch, for here’s what’s going to happen when that time comes. This is courtesy of Ezekiel. ‘They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed (like refuse): their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels (stomachs): because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.’ (Ezek.7:19) Yes mih breddren, when the dung hits the fan, all our earthly wealth will be of no use, for in many cases it’s our running after, our overwhelming desire, incurable addiction to amass worldly treasure that detracts us from serving God. Now listen to Zephaniah’s take on the subject. ‘Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance (end) of all them that dwell in the land.’ (Zeph.1:18) Yes mih people, it won’t be easy. Jeremiah’s words weren’t as harsh, but detailed the same terrible destruction. ‘Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil (as plunder) without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders (territories).’ (Jer.15:13) Oh Friends, these are certainly difficult times, because the Lord’s angry at our ungodly, sinful behaviour, and many of us are having it hard to make both ends meet. But please, I beg us please, let’s not go running foolishly after the almighty dollar. Note how many of the supposed rich are no longer rich. They erroneously believed that their earthly wealth would protect them from anything. Sadly though, it hasn’t from the anger, turmoil and havoc the Lord is wreaking on our world. So please, let’s not make money the main focus of our lives. That most honourable position is reserved for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave His innocent life in a horrific death so that we could be cleansed of our sins and made right with our Heavenly Father. Now isn’t that worth much more than all the world’s riches? We can’t really put a real value or true price on any man’s life, much less the one and only Son of God. Oh my Friends, it’s so humiliating, debasing and degrading to put the world’s filthy lucre ahead of serving Him. We all need money to live, and sometimes the more the merrier, but we should NEVER, NEVER put it ahead of serving Jesus. We must listen to Sol’s warning that ‘Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth in the day of death.’ And the most wonderful example of that is this scripture. ‘And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.’ (Gen.7:1) Amen mih people! What a wonderful compliment! Perhaps the best we can ever get; being considered righteous by the Most High God Jehovah. That says so much about Noah… Oh, I wish we could all be like that! There I go dreaming again. (smile) But note it’s another big dream. And just like the LOVE blanket and the LOVE revolution, it’s doable, if we really mean it. So I’m imploring us today, let’s all seriously work towards obtaining that wonderful compliment of righteousness from our Heavenly Father. If we put our hearts and minds to it we can be successful. And the Father will certainly help us accomplish it. And Friends, what a great present, real glorifying honour that would, no, that will be for Jesus Name, cause we’re going to do it. Before we close though, let’s remind ourselves with the words of Jesus, re the foolishness in chasing after earthly baubles. ‘And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth…But rather seek ye the kingdom of God…’ (Luke 12:15,31) Friends, let’s turn this violent, greedy, sinful, ungodly world around nuh, for Jesus’ sake. Much LOVE!….being poor….won’t stop you from entering heaven…but being rich….most certainly can…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2009 Psalm 77:8‏

Psalm 77:8    Is his mercy clean gone forever? Doth his promise fail for evermore?
 
Oh Friends, yesterday you all figured I was a crazy dreamer because I envisioned a big blanket of LOVE to cover the world and get instantaneous LOVE. I agree that the idea is a bit farfetched, though not impossible, if our God felt so inclined. But listen to Mark Twain’s take on dreams. ‘Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.’ And that my people is the living truth! If we don’t have dreams, and preferably big ones, we’re not living, but merely existing. Why do you think the Lord made us with the capacity to dream eh? So that we can continually strive towards greater things, to a higher level, to excellence. Although we know that some of our dreams won’t be attained – notice I didn’t say unobtainable, since everything is obtainable if our God is involved – we still need to keep them in front of us so that we’ll have stuff to motivate, to encourage us to LIVE life, rather than just exist in it. Our dreams and illusions are what keep us alive and going, keep us excited about life. If we had nothing exciting to wake up and tackle each day, then life would just be one long, dreary, miserable, monotonous, unbearable existence, and we’d die from boredom. And I know it’s that way for many people simply because they don’t have any dreams, or their dreams are just too small to excite them. But when there’s stuff that excites us, that we look forward to… Oh Friends, we just can’t wait to get up and get to it. Note how quickly retirees pass away, if they just sit at home and do nothing, after working steadily for a number of years. That’s because the human mind and spirit were meant to be active, learning, being productive all through life. That brings us to Today’s Bit where the Psalmist, Asaph, though titling his song; ‘Who is so great a God as our God?’ is lamenting both his and his nation’s recent lack of compassion from the Lord. ‘Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore?’ Oh my people, our God is not an illusion or a dream. He might exist in spirit form, but He’s certainly a living, breathing, LOVING, merciful, forgiving deity, with emotions like us, since He says we’re made in his likeness. He also made promises to our forefathers to always look after their descendants. So why would His mercy vanish? He’s existed forever, and will continue to do so. He’s made many promises over the ages and has never broken one. And though we know all this, sometimes it still feels like we are walking alone, afraid and sorrowful, unable to find answers to our questions, or solutions to our problems, this in spite of trying to be obedient and righteous. But my people, if we remember nothing else, please, please let’s remember this: NONE OF GOD’S PEOPLE EVER WALKS ALONE. I repeat: NONE OF GOD’S PEOPLE EVER WALKS ALONE! He might not be making His presence felt for whatever reason, possibly trying to teach us something we need to learn, or test us for promotion, but He’s ALWAYS, ALWAYS there right beside us, surrounding us with His aura of LOVE, safety and comfort. As we keep saying, a true Christian life is not an easy one, especially when Jesus seeks excellence from us all. And excellence isn’t just found, it requires hard work to attain. The Psalmist also asks: ‘Will the Lord cast us off for ever? And will he be favourable no more? (Ps.77:7) Oh Friends and faithful followers of Christ, how could He, when He’s our Father, our Lord and Sovereign God, our Creator and our Provider? Caring Gods and Fathers don’t just ditch or abandon their subjects and children. And our God is certainly a caring parent. Look at all the good things He’s done for us, and the breaks He’s given us when we were disobedient and disloyal. So when Asaph queries; ‘Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?’ (Ps.77:9) The answer to that, and to all the other questions is a most resounding, NO! We often don’t know or understand why the Lord does, or allows certain things, but we surely know that He always has the best interests of all believers at heart, and we need to bow, to submit ourselves to His superior wisdom and understanding. That’s what faith, trust and surrender means in the Christian walk. Rest assured my Friends, that the Lord will deliver His chosen. He did it for the Israelites in Egypt, for Noah from the flood, and Lot from the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. All the righteous will be saved. That’s His unfailing promise. But it’s still truly hard when you’re trying to do the right thing, but keep getting tragic results. However, we’ve got to stand strong, like Asaph did. It’s the only way to be a successful believer. ‘And I said, This is my infirmity (anguish): but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.’ (Ps.77:10-12) Yes my people, when the going gets rough, we need to remember all the good deeds the Lord has done for us and other believers over the years. We also need to study the Word and talk about it with others, for there’s nothing to get a good, heated discussion going like the Word, and the more we talk about it the more deeply it permeates our souls. Remember, when life is difficult, that’s when we need the Word most, cause it reminds us of all God’s endearing mercies, His everlasting LOVE and His never ending well-spring of forgiveness, which eventually lifts us up out of the mire of doubt, sorrow, fear, depression, anger, resentment, hatred…whatever negative sentiments or emotions that are overwhelming our spirits and souls. Selah. Oh my people, faith often is a rough road to travel, but as believers, we all have the necessary tools to successfully navigate it. So wait on the Lord and be of good courage. In His time, He will reveal all. Much LOVE!…though the  journey be rough and rugged…if we trust The Holy Trinity…they will comfort and safely guide us through…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2009 Jeremiah 31:3‏

Jeremiah 31:3    The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, Saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.
 
Oh Friends, it’s more LOVE today! Whoopee! LOVE; that beautiful thing which makes our world go round. Oh how I wish I had a big blanket of it that I could just throw over the entire world, and zap! Miracle of miracles! We’d all be living in total LOVE right now, and not have to wait till some time in the possibly distant future when Jesus returns. Now wouldn’t that be nice…? Ahh, nice is too small and simple. We need words that conjure up a bigger, brighter picture; like fireworks, awesome, most excellent, outstanding, overwhelming. Words that convey the great transformation that would be required. Hn, hn! So I’m a dreamer. Then I might as well dream big dreams. Oh, I almost said something about impossible, but the Spirit gently nudged me, reminding me that nothing’s impossible with our God. Sorry Lord. Please forgive me for that almost faux pas. But tell me people, am I simple, crazy, or just plain brilliant, since I find it so much easier to LOVE than to hate? Who knows? Anyway, as I’ve said before, anger and resentment make me physically sick, but once I get them off my chest, I’m whole and beautiful again. So I really can’t understand those persons who thrive on the negative emotions. And as Ethel Barrymore reputedly said; ‘The more things you LOVE, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.’ And it’s certainly true. If we LOVE only one thing or person, and we lose it or them, then we have nothing else to fall back on, to cling to, to help us get over the tragedy of our loss. But if we LOVE several, or many things and people, then those other LOVES will be there to assist us in our grief. My brethren, we can’t run away from the fact that we all encounter tragic circumstances and difficult times in our lives, but we also have the ability, the wherewithal to overcome them and move forward. And won’t you know, it is LOVE that gives us the dynamic power to overcome our loss, because it’s the strongest emotion in our arsenal. It’s stronger than hate, anger and resentment because it doesn’t blur our mental capacity and rush us into hasty, unwise decisions like the negative emotions do. Oh Friends, that’s why the Lord has been able to put up with our stupid, sinful shenanigans over the ages; because ‘I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE.’ That required of Him, mucho, mucho patience and repressing plenty, plenty anger. And don’t fool yuh fat, the Lord does get angry, check the Good Book, He’s the one angry most of the time, and He’s been displeased so often with His people in the Old Testament, that it ain’t funny. But He’s always managed to bridle it, so that He didn’t totally destroy them. And hear a li’l secret; He’s angry now too, so let’s hope He can contain it like then, else crapaud smoke we pipe. Even when He decimated the earth with the great flood, He kept a handful of His most excellent creation; Noah and his kin, to jump start the whole situation again. ‘Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not for I am with thee…’ (Isa.43:4-5) Oh Friends, that’s LOVE; TRUE LOVE! If His anger had completely overwhelmed Him, we wouldn’t be here now to tell the story. So why are we that afraid of LOVE eh, of commitment, cause that’s what it is? Our majestic God isn’t. It might be true that LOVE caused the first heartache, so what? Hearts mend. And by the same LOVE that broke them in the first place. That’s the awesome power of God’s emotion; the ability to not only hurt, but even more importantly, also to heal. Granted, it needs patience and time to recover from often inconsolable grief, many rivers of tears and heartbreaking anguish, but in the end it usually turns out okay, sometimes even better than before, if we stick to our guns (metaphorical ones) and keep LOVE first place in our hearts, which means keeping God there, since He is LOVE, and therefore, like Him, also able to talk about everlasting LOVE. Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence. (smile) If we can do that, then we can also say, ‘therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.’ Listen up my people: please understand that LOVE and kindness come with a covenant relationship. The bonds of affection are so strong that in Jonathan’s covenant with Bruh David it stipulated that Bruh David and his descendants ‘shall not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies. And Jonathan caused David to swear (vow) again, because he LOVED him: for he LOVED him as he LOVED his own soul.’ (1 Sam.20:15-17) Yes mih people, that’s what it means by entering into covenants or relationships with LOVING-kindness. Even our enemies are supposed to show it. And the Lord painted a beautiful picture of His great LOVE for a faithless, fickle Israel, after they’d gone a whoring behind useless idols and man-made gods. ‘I drew them with cords of a man (gentle cords), with bands of LOVE: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws (necks), and I laid meat unto them (stooped and fed them).’ (Hos. 11: 4 ) Oh Friends, such was the LOVE of our merciful, forgiving God to our ancestors, and since He is unchanging, it means His LOVE for us is still as constant and strong today as it was back then. So let’s all give Him the praise, glory, obedience and LOVE that He so richly deserves nuh, for we’ll never find another like Him. He’s the One and Only God of the Universe! Till next time then, God willing of course, Much LOVE!…LOVE given…is LOVE received…so let’s give plenty…cause no one wants to live…in a world without LOVE…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2009 Jeremiah 31:3‏

Jeremiah 31:3     The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.
 
Oh Friends, the Spirit’s been moving me this past week to talk about a certain topic, one of utmost importance in our lives, but unfortunately sadly lacking in our current world. And that topic, that word my people is LOVE! The greatest word, the greatest emotion in all the annals of mankind, and also the greatest act we can ever show or carry out in our lives. And why is that? ‘For LOVE is of God; and everyone that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:7-8) That sets the basic groundwork my Friends. LOVE has everything to do with God, and God has everything to do with LOVE. And LOVE is such a towering emotion that it manifests itself in so many different ways: romantic, friendly, familial LOVE, and within those categories, LOVE for God, for ourselves, for our neighbours, for things, for animals. Hn! This quote from Bruh David’s eulogy to his nemesis Saul and his friend and blood brother Jonathan shows just how varied and yet all-encompassing this greatest of all emotions can be. ‘I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy LOVE to me was wonderful, passing the LOVE of women.’ (2 Sam.1:26) Yes my people, we often consider romantic LOVE to be one of the strongest forms of human attachment, and it can be very strong, but here Bruh David is saying that Jonathan’s LOVE for him was even greater than the romantic bond shared between a man and a woman. That’s because Jonathan’s care, concern, interest in, and kindness to Bruh David was such that he willing bore the brunt of his father Saul’s anger and jealousy to his friend, even to the point of having Saul throw a deathly javelin at him. That’s why Jesus said; ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Our greatest possession is our life, and giving it on behalf of another human, or a worthwhile cause, is the most God-like act we can ever do. Mirroring what the Lord and Jesus did for us. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) But Friends, LOVE doesn’t have to manifest itself in such tragic circumstances to be worthwhile. Real LOVE is just basically caring and being concerned for other things, animals or people. And that’s what Jesus meant when He said: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Now all Jesus is talking about there are the simple things in life: nursing the sick, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, rest to the weary, lending a helping hand to strangers, to widows and orphans. It’s just the normal things in everyday life; consoling the hurting, grieving with those who grieve and mourn, clothing the naked, giving alms to the poor, being patient with the wrongdoer. In other words, doing whatever we can to make another’s life a little less hell here on earth. That’s all LOVE is my brethren: looking out for others, and helping them the best way we are able to. It’s not rocket science or advanced maths, just simple, down to earth, everyday living and associating. Hn, hn! The Spirit had me on such a roll here, that I’ve completely ignored the Bit. But whatever we’ve spoken about so far concerns LOVE and is still very important. I also had a quote for us on the topic, which says: ‘We conceal it from ourselves in vain – we must always LOVE something.’ Those are the words of Blaise Pascal, and they are the gospel truth mih people. Unless we have that emotion of LOVE within us for something or someone, we can consider ourselves inhuman. Not knowing how to LOVE is a bane to our very existence, cause it takes away, strips us of our very humanity, which is a most undesirable state. And as Jeremiah recounts in the Bit: ‘The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE.’ That means the Lord’s been LOVING us a long, long time mih Friends, even before He sent Jesus to justify our sins through his sacrificial death. Listen to Moses: ‘And because he LOVED thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt.’ (Deut.4:37) Yes people, it was His LOVE for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that caused the Lord to choose their descendants as His Chosen Ones and bring them out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land. And though they often rebelled, just like we’re doing today, His LOVE was, and still is, so strong that He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him with the greatest gift ever given; the life of His Son Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, to which we can all sing; ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Unfortunately though my people, we are not reciprocating that LOVE to our God, or showing it to our fellow man, that’s why our world is in such confusion and turmoil today, with greed, violence, ungodliness, all the negatives and opposites of LOVE in ascendance. I’m imploring us people; let’s change that around, and as quickly as possible too. That’s if we ever hope to have a more peaceful, less tumultuous world. For LOVE is the only thing that can bring about such a marvellous change. We need to keep the LOVE Revolution continually running in high gear. We’ll continue this tomorrow, as there’s so much more to talk about. Much LOVE!…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…it’s the only thing…there’s just too little of…what the world needs now…is LOVE, sweet LOVE…
 

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