Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2017 Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8.   I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

And after Saturday, comes Sunday… the first day of the week; the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath; the time we gather for great fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, be it a majestic cathedral or a lowly hovel! The physical aspect of the place doesn’t matter that much, just the feeling of friendship and LOVE we bring to it.  The Lord is more interested in what’s in our hearts than our surroundings. 

Yuh see where He allowed His Son Jesus to be born at the upcoming Christmas time? In a smelly, rundown animal barn. Don’t you think, if He wanted to, or if He thought it that important, Jesus could have been born in a palace, or somewhere much better than the manger. For sure! But Jesus wasn’t coming to earth to live in royal splendor…at least not this first time… but as a lowly servant, so His birthplace did fit His station in life. 

Anyway, let’s get to the matter at hand, opening our ceremony with some sacrifice of praise, with the old Cat Stevens tune, ‘Morning has broken.’ In full voice and beautiful harmony now, letting heaven know that we’re serious about our praise and worship. ‘Morning has broken like the first morning  Blackbird has spoken like the first bird  Praise for the singing Praise for the morning  Praise for them springing fresh from the world  

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven  Like the first dewfall on the first grass  Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden  Sprung in completeness where his feet pass  Mine is the sunlight  Mine is the morning  Born of the one light Eden saw play  Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning  God’s recreation of the new day  Morning has broken like the first morning  Blackbird has spoken like the first bird  Praise for the singing  Praise for the morning  Praise for them springing fresh from the world.’ 

Yes friends, a brand new day has indeed dawned, just like the first one did eons ago, and will continue to do until the Lord decides otherwise! And I do hope that we are thankful for being allowed to see this new day, especially knowing that so many good things can and will happen to us, and through us to others. Glory to God! 

What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship! There is NO other like Him! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us, my brethren, especially when He didn’t have to! But the undying and unconditional LOVE in His heart wouldn’t allow Him to just let us be destroyed in sinful turmoil without giving us a chance to be redeemed and spend eternity with Him. 

That’s why Bruh David could write the last two verses of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God – with such boldness and authority. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) 

Wonderful words of assurance friends, which carry over even in to today’s tumultuous and evil world for each and every believer in Jesus Christ! Yes, if we are true followers of Jesus, then we can make the same boast on His glorious name! 

And Bruh David wasn’t shy to declare his trust in God. Listen to him from Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God. ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:5-6) 

Ah mih people, are we brave and bold and faithful enough to make such declarations? We ought to be, if Christ is our Lord and Saviour. But I guess too many of us supposed believers are smitten by fear of what the world can do to us, but the Bible tells us oodles of times, ‘FEAR NOT!’ Somebody says it’s listed there 365 times, one time for each day of the year. 

And Jesus specifically said to the disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) That’s the Lord God Jehovah my people! If we need to fear anyone, that’s whom we should be afraid of because He has the power to destroy us six ways from Sunday. 

But then listen to Bruh Paul’s words as he encourages Timothy on the subject. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) God has given us the ability to do whatever he wills, my brethren, so there is no need to let fear overcome us. And if we do become afraid, then just do whatever it is afraid. (smile) The Lord will see you through. 

Oh people of Christ, our world is in a sad, cruel and evil mess, and only we Christians can clean it up. But to do so successfully, we have to stand together strong and steadfast in Jesus name, unafraid of what the world will do or say. Otherwise we’re just wasting our time and energy. So today I implore us to get together in our local communities and get a move on nuh, with establishing Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. It’s the only hope for our world! Much LOVE!

…enough talk now…time for more serious action from Christians…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Ah friends, though the disasters and their devastating effects continue to haunt us, we must ALWAYS remember to give thanks for what we still have, most importantly life, and not mourn too much over what we have lost. 

It’s not easy going forward after the calamitous results of hurricanes and earthquakes, I can testify to that personally after experiencing hurricane Flora in 1963 in Tobago. But we have to move forward; that’s the only way that’s open to us. 

And we can ONLY truly move forward my people by truly surrendering to Almighty God, our Creator and Controller, by putting our sincere faith and trust in Him, and being obedient to His word. Who knows if that is the message He’s trying to relay to us through all these disasters eh? 

The wise thing to do would be to repent and turn back to Him, since we have strayed away from His fold and embraced pagan gods and man-made idols. And remember, from the very beginning, He commanded us in no uncertain manner: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

So although there have been numerous arguments as to what the words ‘before me,’ actually mean, the long and short of the story is simply as the scholars put it: ‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined, is to rival the one true God, who is the only One who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf.Ps.81:9-10). 

And we all know that we have not kept that covenant relationship, and the Good Book further tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ (Rom.6:23) So that means all kinds of consequences are possible, up to and including both physical and spiritual death, for our blatant disobedience and intense desire to remove Him from all aspects of our society. 

Now the good thing about being in true covenant with Almighty God is that in times of trouble and disaster we need not be afraid. Oh we must be concerned, but bone-chilling fear is not necessary since the Lord has made several faithful promises to believers, including that He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, tough times and calamity are to be expected, but with the word of Jesus securely planted in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, we can stand strong and overcome whatever comes against us. 

Listen to Jesus’ words in our Bit, as He talks to His audience about care and anxiety. He tells them to first seek God’s kingdom and not the things of the world, because when they do, God will give them all that they need. Then He reassures them: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Now would Jesus lie to us? Certainly not! But we have to first believe in Him, and obey His commandments, and that is exactly what we are not doing in this ungodly society. Fear is no part of the Christian’s armour or ammunition. Our weapon is FAITH! 

Listen to Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) So once Jesus lives in us, we should not be overwhelmed by fear. 

And all of us know and often claim this famous verse of Bruh David’s words from Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

So why are we so quick to whimper and complain and fall apart when troubles befall us eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe? Who knows? 

But here are a few more comforting words, this time from Cousin Sol. ‘Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’ (Prov.3:25-26) 

The problem is friends, that we have to learn to deal with disappointments without being discouraged, without thinking we’re failures, but to have faith and hope and get up and start all over again. 

And why shouldn’t we be able to do that when our magnanimous God has been so beneficent towards us in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them now, so that our spirits can be uplifted and we can magnify and glorify our great and wonderful God. 

As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s continue by generously sharing these blessings with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh…how blessed are believers in Christ…especially when they generously share their blessings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2016 2 Timothy 1:12.

2 Timothy 1:12.   For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Oh my people, another glorious day is blossoming in our earthly lives! Thanks be to God! 

And would you believe that in my neck of the woods, on the first day of November the temperature is supposed to rise up into the high teens? Wow! Talk about climate confusion! 

Anyway, whatever the state of the weather in our particular area, please, lets enjoy the day, because that’s why the Lord made us to see and experience it. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘I Do Know’. When I read it recently it reminded me so much of our Tuesday Mantra that I had to share it with you. 

It says: ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. 

But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. I know that I am a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. 

I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that his thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that he has inscribed me in the palms of his hands. 

I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Ah friends, isn’t that a beautiful description of our relationship with Jehovah God? It certainly is!  

And if you don’t believe it reminds you of our Tuesday Mantra, then, let’s declare it right now with all the enthusiasm and sure belief that it deserves. 

As one beautiful voice 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!’  

Mama Mia! Oh what a bountiful blessing to be the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! It definitely couldn’t get any better than that! 

And the writing above just expands on our Mantra; giving more detail of the awesome relationship we have with the Creator and Controller of the universe. Between them both, we ought surely to confidently know and understand who and whose we are – the blessed and LOVING family of Almighty God! 

Now here is the promise of scripture for that writing above, it is also our Bit for today. ‘For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ 

Oh glory be my precious people! Bruh Paul is confidently proclaiming his trust and sure confidence in the Lord his God to his protégé Timothy. And we should also be able to proclaim it, if we truly believe what we say we believe. 

In the verses before our Bit, Bruh Paul lays out his reasoning for his certainty in Christ. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. 

Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; 

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began. 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light though the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.’ (2 Tim.1:7-11) 

What a moving passage of scripture friends! Bruh Paul lays out why he believes what he believes. And the same should apply to all who consider themselves Christians! 

Jesus was victorious over hell, death and the grave so that we could have eternal life and light, and it’s our bounden duty as His followers to spread that good news to all and sundry, in each and every part of the world. 

So my brethren, if we are assured of salvation through Christ Jesus, then we need to behave like it, and speak it boldly, not be ashamed of our faith, as so many of us tend to be when in the company of unbelievers. 

Remember Jesus’ last directive to His disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Yes precious people of God, that is our Great Commission, which we are able to do because our wonderful God hasn’t ‘given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

So please let’s manifest those things in our walk of faith today, let’s boldly and gladly, share the LOVE of Jesus with the rest of the world, because only then, can we be considered true believers. Much LOVE!

…true Christians not only talk the talk…but also walk the walk…

P.S. Just one of those late nights and thus late mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.   And whatsoever  ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Well friends, another apparently beautiful day has dawned in my neighbourhood, and for it we give much thanks! However, if the weather in your area isn’t so wonderful, then please don’t be overly concerned because the Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining His brilliant and comforting light on and in us… Glory to God! 

That means less fear and worry in our lives as we experience each new day, remembering the reassurance of the Good Book. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  And that’s indisputable truth my believing brethren! 

Now, let’s further raise our spirits and our faith by declaring our Thursday Blessings in a strong voice, filled with enthusiasm and conviction, for remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken over someone. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful Deity we serve and worship! No other faith uplifts and comforts its believers like the Christian faith! 

And all God’s children gratefully declared a loud and sincere, ‘Thank You Lord! We truly LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now to turn those words into reality, we need to follow the wise and most worthy advice of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, found in our Bit. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Yes friends, the only way we can truly show our faithfulness to the Most High God Jehovah is by letting our words and actions reflect the character of Jesus with sincere thankfulness. And Bruh Paul wrote basically the same thing to the church at Corinth. 

‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.’ (1 Cor.10:31-33). 

Ah mih people, the basic reason behind ALL that we say and do, ought to be to glorify God in some form and fashion! Remember, that’s why He created us. And Peter adds his two cents worth (smile) as he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. 

‘But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen’ (1 Pet.4:7-11) 

Oh how I wish that more of us supposed Christians would follow that sound advice. But as you see, it means giving up our pleasure and profit for others, and that’s still a rather difficult thing for many Christians to do, especially in these very ungodly and sinful times. 

And unfortunately the only way for us, and consequently Christ’s church to grow and mature, is by us steadfastly following the advice given above by both apostles. If we keep on allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us, to fill us with fear, self-loathing, or simply uninterested, lackadaisical behaviour, then we’ll always be at their mercy, and Christ’s church will continue to be weighed down with dissension and disunity, as it currently is. 

Obviously that’s not pleasing to the Holy Trinity, our Godhead. And if we’re not pleasing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then we’re not doing what we were created to do – as simple as that. Then we cannot expect to be blessed with all the good things and times that have been placed in store for us. 

That, however, doesn’t stop some of the more boldfaced and foolish of us from still expecting heavenly blessings, although they are living in the lusts of the flesh and not in the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. (smile) 

Anyway friends, the long and short of the story is that as true believers we need to make sure that our words and actions glorify God, by falling into line with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. That’s what is known as heavenly wisdom, wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…obedience brings blessings…disobedience brings curses…it’s the individual’s choice…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2015 Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5.  Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

And then it was Saturday Friends! Wow! Another great day to be alive, because we don’t know what wonderful blessings and mercies the Lord has planned for us today. But be sure of this one thing; He does have stuff planned for us, otherwise His fabulous breath of life would not be flowing through our physical bodies right now. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty ‘Praise the Lord for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ We surely are thankful my people. 

And since we’re continuing our series of messages on HOPE, I thought this quote from Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) a Jewish Dutch philosopher of some renown, would fit right into our plans. Baruch is reputed to have said that ‘There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.’ 

Yes Friends, we all feel some sort of fear, anxiety and/or doubt, when we’re in a hoping frame of mind. And even when we’re truly fearful, there is always a smattering of hope lurking somewhere in the background, telling us that everything will be all right. So it’s just a normal human reaction to have a touch of fear in hope and hope in fear. 

But my precious people, let’s never forget those memorable words of encouragement that Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

So though it’s only natural for a little fear to sometimes creep into our lives, that is not our basic human nature, it is of the enemy. We have been empowered, filled with LOVE and a sound mind by Almighty God to pursue His purposes! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, in this dangerous and difficult world it is normal for us to sometimes feel less than strong and powerful, and thus have our spirits sink to a fraction of their natural buoyancy.  But the important thing to remember when those times befall us is that we must turn to our great God for help. He is the only one who can provide the necessary comfort we seek. 

As the psalmist says in Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps.130:7-8) Words of indisputable truth my people! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in chapter 25 – The song of praise by the redeemed. ‘He will swallow up death (forever) in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.26:9)  

Oh Friends, now why wouldn’t we hope for that eh? It’s such a wonderful promise! And we know that all of our God’s promises are faithful and true, though they make take a while longer to come than we would like. But as Habakkuk so wisely advises: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab.2:3) 

Yes Friends, ALL of God’s promises will eventually come true, but in HIS OWN TIME. That means we have to hope and pray and wait. What better example can we find that our father Abraham eh? 

Here’s what Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church about him. ‘Who against (contrary to) hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. According to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 

He staggered (wavered) not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:18-21) 

My people are we as convinced that our God can perform His promises? I certainly hope so, otherwise we’re fighting a losing battle and we’re not true Christians. How many of us would have packed up all our belongings and moved far away from our families, not having a clue as to where we were going, just because some obscure and so-called God told us to do it? Not many. 

And how many of us would have believed that a woman could bear children at almost a hundred years old? Not many! And how many of us would have believed that we would become the father of many nations when the Lord told us to sacrifice our one and only son, from whom all the mighty lineage was supposed to flow? Again, not many! But Abraham did. That’s why it was ascribed to him as righteousness.  

Ah mih people, sometimes it’s a hard row we have to hoe, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. So please, regardless of the difficult circumstances we might now be undergoing, please don’t ever give up on our God. Abraham did not have to sacrifice his only son, but our heavenly Father did it so that we could be saved, be reconciled to Him, have salvation and eternal life. 

And remember He did not have to do it, but He did it for our sakes. Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. So just hang in there my people and all will be well in the Lord’s time. Much LOVE!

 …to hope…to hope…and yet to hope…that is a Christian’s lot…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2015 1 John 4:18

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!

Well my brethren, our little summer fling is over! Chuh! And I was just beginning to enjoy it; going out the street in shirtsleeves, sitting out on my porch in the early morning hours, quietly communing with my heavenly Father and releasing all the day’s anxieties and stress. 

Yes, Friends, this past week where we experienced temps in the mid to high teens all week was certainly a wonderful blessing. Glory to God! But it’s all over now, we’re reverting back to normal temps like ten and lower. Anyway, as long as that cold, white stuff is not flying around, I am happy.

 Once it starts making a mess on the roads, then I get miserable. I don’t even mind if it’s packed up on the banks and shoulders of the road, but not on the road itself which makes driving even more treacherous than it already is, with so many cars and bad drivers out there nowadays. Sometimes it can be really fearful to drive on the dry roads, much less the snow filled ones. 

However, since you all are such wonderful patrons, and I’m in such a generous frame of mind, (smile) I will offer two of our Friend Anselm’s quotes from this past week, which speak rather appropriately to our topic. 

The first one says: ‘If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’ And that’s very true. The only way to conquer fear is to rise up over it; to do the thing(s) of which you are afraid, with God’s faith and trust in your heart, standing on His promise that He won’t let us go through more than we can handle. 

And the second quote declares that ‘Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.’ And that’s no lie either my people! I am sure all of us have come upon situations at some stage of our lives where we thought we did not have the wherewithal to handle them, but once we decided to step out in faith, we realized that we actually had the parts to deal with the situations. 

Sometimes we need God to pour down some extra courage on us, but at other times we discover that what we already have is quite sufficient. And once we consider the assuring words Bruh Paul spoke to young Timothy, our fears should subside. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.7) 

So technically speaking, we’re not suppose be afraid of anything. But we all know that is easier said than done. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: just do it afraid. (smile) But she does have a point, we can’t allow fear to ruin our lives. And the only way to conquer fear is rearing up over it with faith! 

And our Bit today hits the nail right on the head of the subject. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!’ What a powerful verse of scripture my fellow believers! 

Now here is how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk-in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17) 

Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement. (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be flippant and casual.’ 

Of course not! Our attitude towards our heavenly Father should be one of reverence, respect, awe and joy that we have such a wonderful God! 

Now, since I know that very few of us will bother to check the scriptures noted in the scholars explanations, I will quote a few of them for our benefit. Aren’t I nice? (smile) We will begin with Acts 13:26, where Paul and Barnabas are talking to the people of Antioch. 

Bruh Paul says to them: ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts 13:26) 

And in 2 Corinthians, Bruh Paul opens Chapter 7 thus: ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ (2 Cor.7:1) 

And to the Ephesians, Bruh Paul writes: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:20-21) 

Oh Friends, you see it’s all about the reverential awe of God, about putting Him first in our lives, not being afraid to talk to Him. We have that right to confidently approach Him on the basis of Jesus’ work at the cross. That work reconciled us to Him, and we are once more His beloved children. So there is absolutely nothing to fear if we are children of the Most High God! 

As John states after our Bit: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1John 4:19-21) 

There we have it Friends; a sermon… sorry, (smile) a teaching on fear, LOVE and reverence. Please, let’s carve it into the depths of our souls, so that we can always have it for our timely reference. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for fear…is faith…backed by the unconditional LOVE of Almighty God…

 

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