Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2016 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.

Well friends, all the excitement of the Christmas season is finally coming to a head. Soon the shopping and the wrapping of gifts will end and the partying will start in earnest. Hn! That is if it hasn’t begun already. 

And you know Sunday is the worst day that Christmas can fall on in terms partying, because a lot of people will be off from Friday to Wednesday, so that they can have the Christmas and Boxing Day Holidays to which they are entitled. 

However, let’s hope that the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ shines through it all, and we don’t simply make this most memorable day merely a secular time of eating, drinking and gift giving. Now those things are an important part of it, but not the MOST important. We have to get in some spiritual time in there too. 

But no doubt by the time the sun rises in the east this morning, we’re going to hear the myriad voices declaring ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And Christmas Friday to boot! We have almost a whole week to do what we want! No massa looking over we shoulder and giving us a setta chupid orders! 

The drinks will be flowing like water, and the Christmas food… Oh Lord! Look how it spread out and looking pretty nuh! Oh thank you Lord for this Friday that falls in the Christmas weekend! Is party everlasting!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that’s not how most of us see it. Jesus has to be light shining in the dark, the prominent figure, because it’s His birthday. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which is not devoid of good times, but has a more moderate and Christian perspective. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren, this weekend we have more than two short days off yes, so please let’s use them wisely and remember Granny’s saying: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Because for certain sure the evil one will be out on a serious hunting spree this long weekend, especially since we celebrating Christ’s birth. He won’t desire anything better than to catch a few of us offside. So please be careful. 

Now we come to a piece of news that’s not so great. I’m hearing this kind of thing too often these days yes. I just heard today that another of our Scrip-Bit family, Keith Noel, had a massive stroke in Jamaica some three weeks ago. 

Apparently his brother had died a few days earlier and he took it so hard that it brought on the stroke. So he couldn’t go to his brother’s funeral. Ah Lord eh! But the good news is that he was allowed out for two hours to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary. Glory be!

Oh friends, please let’s send up some fervent heartrending prayers for our family member Keith, hoping that he will soon be back on his feet, praising the Lord for His goodness. It’s the least we can do. 

Finally, let’s turn to our Bit for today, the faithful and amazing words of the teenaged girl Mary, so rightly chosen it seems to be Christ’s mother. I guess the Lord would not have made a mistake there at all. (smile) 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.’ 

Yuh know people, every time I consider the magnitude of Mary’s faith at so tender an age, in those dark and difficult times, it just boggles my imagination. But listen to her song of praise after she joyfully accepts her upcoming role with all the enormous problems it entailed. 

She begins with our Bit, then gladly declares: ‘And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1:47-55) 

Oh friends, can you imagine a young girl speaking such enlightened words. The Holy Ghost must surely have been upon her to bring out that kind of reaction. And what we just read is known as ‘the Magnificat.’ 

The scholars tell us that it’s ‘based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’ And indeed it was my fellow believers! 

After Mary’s declaration, the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary abode with her (Elisabeth) about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

Yuh see the wisdom of our God at work! He left Mary to bond with Elisabeth, to give her the required strength and whatever else she may have needed to perform the task He had set before her. And He does the same thing up to this day my people. He never gives us a task to do without giving us the wherewithal to do it. 

So please, let’s learn from Mary, and instead of complaining and carrying on about our God-given tasks, let’s rejoice and give Him praise instead nuh, especially in this wonderful Christmas Season. Much LOVE!

…there is no other God besides ours…great, faithful, LOVING and true…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

So it’s Friday once again, and the roar of the working people is in full swing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and in particular Black Friday! We going to shop till we drop, then we going to party most heartily! Shopping and partying…! Oh what a glorious weekend it’s gonna be! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the commercialism of our society is getting from bad to worse. Steups! We’ve finally integrated another shopping day into the calendar with the woeful name of ‘Black Friday.’ 

It’s actually become the biggest shopping day of the year, substantially beating out the old Boxing Day affairs. And the behaviour has become downright animalistic, like leggo beasts, as we rush and shove and push and fight each other to get to the items we think we need. 

Ah Lord eh! And it’s right after Thanksgiving too. Some stores open at midnight, so a lot of folks don’t even get to finish the Thanksgiving proceedings properly before they rush out to the supposed sales, to line up to buy stuff they often don’t need, and in many cases cannot afford. But it’s on sale! Chuh! 

Even in Canada it’s taken on a life of its own; I’ve never heard so many Black Friday ads like this year. I guess that’s because the Canadian proprietors don’t want the Canadians to go shopping down in the U.S.; they’d much prefer them to spend their dollars up here. Hn! 

What a life eh! Anyway, for those of us who don’t allow the commercialism and licentiousness to get to us, we have our Friday Chant to bolster our emotions. So let’s chant it in sincerity and unison nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that’s a much better way to view the weekend, especially this Black Friday madness. And our Bit is the same as yesterday: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren, for our God searches and knows the hearts of all His people, all His creation! It’s on the basis of the state of our hearts that He operates, not from our outward behaviour, since that outward show can quite easily be false and contrived and not reflect the true intentions and motives of our hearts. 

And today we’ll look at the section where Bruh David talks about God creating him. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hidden from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none of them. 

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps.139:13-18) 

Yeh friends, our magnanimous and omnipotent God originated us in our mothers’ wombs, knew exactly how we’d turn out, wrote down our life plan in His book before we were even fully formed, as He watched us grow in delight. 

He knows all of our frailties, because He created us with them. And there’s not a moment that goes by and He doesn’t think worthily and beautifully of us, His most wonderful creation. 

As Bruh David says, those kindly and LOVING thoughts of our merciful and gracious God are more than sand in number. Wow! That just goes to show how much He thinks of us. 

Now the resulting and very important question is how much do we think about Him? Yes my people, how much do we consider our great and wonderful God in our everyday lives eh? 

For many of us, the answer is that we don’t think about Him enough. We only seem to remember Him when we are down on our luck, or want something. Then we rush to Him with all sorts of untrue endearments, and expect Him to jump to our rescue right away. 

But unfortunately, that’s not the way our God works. He expects continuous and sincere communication, from a true heart, before He opens up His treasure chest. And we’ll close with the serious and sincere words with which Bruh David closed Psalm 139. 

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24) 

Ah friends, this Black Friday morning is a very good time for each of us to pray that prayer individually, and ask God to cleanse us of any evil ways or desires that linger in our hearts and lead us along the right path, the one which leads directly to Him and His LOVING-kindness. We couldn’t ask for anything better. Much LOVE!

…to know… and to understand God…one must have frequent and sincere communication with Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2015 Isaiah 9:2

Isaiah 9:2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Well Friends, Christmas Day is over for another year…but not the season! Today is only Boxing Day, when many of you will rush to the malls to get those bargains so widely advertised. (smile) We still have lots of celebrating to do over the next two weeks right into the New Year! 

So we still need to remember that the birth of Jesus was, and still is the reason for all the hoopla all around the world and still pay our respects and reverence like the three wise men and the shepherds did. 

Anyway, I don’t know if I have shared this prayer before, but even if I have, it’s well worth sharing again. It comes from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. 

I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, after all that our God has done for us, how can we doubt His wonderful and heartfelt LOVE eh? But lots of people seem to do so, and sadly they will suffer for that mistake.  

Now it’s time for our Bit. But first let’s get some context of what it’s all about. Isaiah had earlier prophesied deliverance for Israel, however that would be only after a period of trouble and darkness. 

And he begins Chapter 9 thus: ‘Nevertheless the dimness (gloom) shall not be such as was in her vexation (upon who is distressed), when at the first he lightly afflicted (esteemed) the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea (he shall glorify the way), beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations (Gentiles). 

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is.9:1-2)  

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:1-5. The dimness of Israel’s rejection was especially prevalent in the northern tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which would suffer greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Galilee is named and identified with the nations (goyim, Gentiles). 

To those in the darkness of the north God promises to send a great light, which is quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 as being fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The prophet sees these events as though they were already happening. Thus he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’  

What great prophecy my people! And Isaiah could not have figured out all that by himself. It had to come from a Higher Power. And Matthew concurs in his gospel when he talks about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

‘Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, The Land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles; 

The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light has sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.4:12-17) 

 So Friends, Isaiah was quite right, for the child that was born unto us, called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace etc. did begin His serious ministry in the region that Isaiah identified.  Oh glory to God my brethren for the might and depth of His Word! 

And we’ll get another prophecy fulfilled soon after Jesus’ birth. He was brought to the temple at eight days old, as per the Jewish custom to be offered to God and be circumcised. 

Now when Joseph and Mary showed up at the temple with Jesus, they met an old man named Simeon, ‘just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (Messianic hope): and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.’ Luke 2:25-26) 

And would you believe that day the Holy Ghost led him to the temple just as Mary and Joseph showed up? ‘Then he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (God’s promise): for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  

A light to lighten (bring revelation to) the gentiles; and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of them.’ (Luke 2:28-33) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:32-33. Here for the first time the parents hear the startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance would extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ 

It certainly would my people, and I can just imagine how Joseph’s and Mary’s mouths must have been wide open with wonder at the child they had borne.  

And yuh know what Friends, two thousand and odd years later, we are still drooling in wonder at the Christ child, as we should, because that is wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…no other baby ever born…can match the wonder that’s Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2014 Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Greetings and salutations this Boxing Day morn, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The big day of Christmas is over, but definitely not the season; not by a long shot!
 
The Joy. Peace, LOVE, Thanksgiving and Goodwill to all men that were engendered yesterday, that characterized that momentous day, cannot be all used up in one 24 hours span of time, Absolutely not! So let’s keep that LOVING and joyous spirit of baby Jesus going for as long as possible Friends.
 
And I know that a lot of people in the North Country were disappointed because they did not receive their traditional white Christmas. Yes mih people, there wasn’t any snow, but it surely was a wet, windy and cloudy time. In fact, on Christmas Eve night we had a wicked windstorm that played havoc with everything.
 
So, I guess it was more like a British Christmas, than a truly Canadian one. (smile) But these days with the vagaries of the weather, we don’t know what to expect. A month before winter truly set in we had snow and pretty cold temps. But now, in the heart of winter, we’re having rain and temps above freezing.
 
Who knows what’s happening in our crazy, misguided, angry and resentful world these days eh? Only Almighty God!
 
Anyway, I sincerely hope that you and yours had a wonderful time yesterday, I didn’t do much; just wrote the Bit, went to church, then came home and had a quiet time with my family.
 
And I do hope that Jesus and His incarnate birth was a trending topic in all our conversations. For He IS the reason for the season, whether you say ‘Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or Merry Christmas!’
 
And since it is still Christmas time, please pray this wonderful ‘Christmas Prayer’ with me. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, and as you’ll see, was definitely too beautiful for me not to share it with you.
 
Let’s pray: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest.
 
I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree.
 
I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen for ever. Amen.’
 
Ah my brethren, what wonderful sentiments! They are sentiments that we can also acknowledge with sincere hearts, and thus make Jesus and the Father proud of us.
 
Oh Friends, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was such a simple but very important, momentous and auspicious occasion, that two thousand years later we’re still gloriously celebrating it with much ceremony, pomp and joy! Glory be!
 
And it’s so foundational to our beliefs that the prophet Isaiah prophesied it in our Bit, hundreds of years before it actually happened. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7)
 
And as we all know, ‘the zeal of the Lord of hosts,’ did put this miracle into motion with the birth of Jesus Christ! As the angels told the shepherds on that first Christmas night: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11)
 
Oh my people, what a magnificent, magnanimous, faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship! Please give Him much well deserved thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness to us, the undeserving children of men!
 
And the wonderful thing about Isaiah’s prophecy, according to the scholars, is that ‘he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’ Now that could only have come from God’s divine guidance, imbuing Isaiah’s spirit with a potent and positive power of discernment.
 
Now here are some important and interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘9:6-7. The Gift-Child in this passage is the same divine Child as Immanuel. Again, using the prophetic perfect, the prophet sees Him as though He were already born. Wonderful, Counselor (pele’ yo’ets) is actually one term in Hebrew.
 
A wonder is indicative of a miracle. Counselor is often used in parallel with king (cf. Mic.4:9). Thus miraculous counsel is given by this God-like King. The mighty God (El Gibor) is the strongest of these titles.
 
In Isaiah, El is always used of God and never refers to man. Gibor means “Hero.” Together they describe One who is indeed God Himself. Everlasting Father (abi’ad) literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.
 
Prince of Peace (Sar-Shalom) indicates that the mighty God will be a benevolent ruler bringing eternal peace on earth through the establishment of His kingdom. Thus the obscure figure of Immanuel is now brought to clear light: He is Himself God incarnate!’
 
Ah Friends, with all that fulfilled prophecy, how could we ever doubt that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords eh? No way!
 
Now let’s keep the faith, stand strong and steadfast this Boxing Day, which happens to fall on a Friday, as we go home chanting our Friday Chant. I didn’t forget it.
 
Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, we’ve had more than two days off with riotous celebrations, which means we need even more time for rest than usual. So please get it so that we can go out well rested and rejuvenated on Monday to continue God’s great work here on earth.  Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Jesus…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…what more can I say… 
 
P.S. The Bit’s long and late Friends, but it’s great! So that makes up for the length and lateness. (smile) Cut the ole fella some slack nuh. He needs to celebrate the birth of Jesus too yuh know, that means late to bed and late to rise. (smile)  Much Much LOVE mih people!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

 Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.
 
Ah Friends, it’s Saturday and the ole fella is tired. I don’t know why, because I didn’t do much over the Christmas and Boxing Day celebrations. I didn’t over eat or over drink. In fact I rested quite a lot; perhaps too much. (smile). Where was I to go though, with all the ice and snow and unfavourable weather?
 
I guess the tricky Lucifer must be playing some mind games with me. But I have the perfect antidote for that, my spiritual armour. Yes my people, I’m going to put it on right now, and I know that as soon as I do, then begin writing about God’s Word, His joyous Spirit will pick me up and restore a bright and sparkling outlook to my weary spirit. Yes Friends, one of the great things our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does for us is to uplift and restore our tired and sagging spirits. 
 
And contrary to my hope yesterday, I didn’t finish sharing all the scripture on the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, so today we’ll forgo a lot of preamble and get right to it. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
And I’m chuckling here Friends, because I’m listening to the radio while writing, which I don’t usually do because it tends to distract me.  But for some reason I tuned into Radio Trinidad, 730 AM, where they’re playing some nice Christian music and the writing just seemed to flow. So who am I to deny God’s inspiration eh? (smile)
 
Anyway, turning to the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, let’s continue with some appropriate scriptures. Isaiah, that faithful and much inspired prophet, boldly proclaims, re the day of the Lord: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
 
And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks (pruning knives): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Is.2:2-4)
 
Oh, what a beautiful day that will be, my brethren! But long before that the Lord was handing down laws to His chosen creation. The first basic law was given to our forefather Adam. ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen.2:16-17)
 
But as we all know, Adam didn’t obey, and thus we’ve all been possessed of a sinful, rebellious nature since then. Then the Lord made circumcision the law for those of Abraham’s lineage, who wanted to covenant with him. ‘This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child (male) among you shall be circumcised.
 
And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token (sign) of the covenant betwixt me and thou. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.’ (Gen.17:10-12) 
 
And we can’t talk about laws without talking about the Big Ten, the Lord gave to the Israelites on leaving Egypt bound for the Promised Land, (Ex.20: 1-17) with the biggest being the first: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3)
 
Unfortunately though, neither the Israelites, nor many of us who came after them, have sufficiently heeded those Ten Commandments. And that foolish action, that disobedience sadly bears a direct link to why our world is in such a calamitous state today. And if you don’t believe me, then read those Ten Commandments and take out all the negativity that disobeying each one brings to our world, and see how beautiful the remnant is!
 
Now let’s turn to Isaiah again with some more interesting words from our Maker. ‘Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.’ (Is.51:7-8)
 
Then Jesus came and broke it all down to just two laws. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:37-40)
 
But you think we could even keep those two? Obviously not! Therefore we’re surrounded by a negativity filled world!
 
And we’ll end with some provocative words from James on that last commandment; consideration for a brother. ‘Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:11-12)
 
And that Friends, say it all! Until we stop judging and truly start LOVING, our lives and our world will continue to be one, big, disastrous mess. Let this be a wake up call for us nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…there is only ONE Lawgiver…ONE Judge…ONE King…ONE able to save us…Almighty God…the Holy Trinity…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.

And wonder of wonders – it’s Friday! ‘Yeah! TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ come the joyous shouts. It’s the shortest workweek we’ve had for a while, since most of us had both Christmas and Boxing Days off. And some of us were even lucky enough to finagle Friday off too. (smile)
 
In any case, I think we deserve some time off because we’ve worked so hard during the earlier part of the year. However, as always, we need to utilize our time properly, get our priorities straight, so that we don’t fall prey to the artful and deceitful traps of the arch deceiver, Lucifer, who’s always looking for a way into our lives.
 
So to help us get the right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant. With one sincere and heartfelt voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, especially in these heady days of celebrating Christ’s birth, we need to be continually on the lookout, to be on our p’s and q’s for anything that will give the enemy even a tiny foothold in our lives, for that’s all he needs to start worming his evil way into the marrow of our souls, and disfiguring the beautiful picture of Jesus we have painted there. So let’s enjoy ourselves, but remember that drunk or sober, we must mind our business.
 
And with that age-old warning, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, hopefully the last day for it. (smile) ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
Oh mih breddren, I can’t get over how good and wonderful our God is to us nuh! Check this out. Earlier on in the week, I was wondering what Bit I would use for Christmas Day, since it’s the same basic stuff everybody uses and everybody knows. I wanted something different.
 
And lo and behold, a couple days before Christmas Day, the Lord led me to this scripture, with it lasting for several days, and most importantly having the king and saving aspect of it for His special day.
 
Wow! How can I not LOVE and worship Him eh? For He always meets my needs, lifts me out of any dark hole in which I’ve fallen, either literally or figuratively! Ah Friends, it’s so great to trust in the ONE TRUE GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But let’s get back to our Bit, before I get more sentimental and get carried away. (smile)
 
And finally, today we’re going to look at the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our great and wonderful God. And the first scripture comes from Isaiah, re the call to repentance to the sinful, rebellious, backsliding nation of Judah. ‘Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.’ (Is.1:10)
 
Yes Friends, the people of Judah were behaving like those of Sodom and Gomorrah. The notes of the scholars’ will further explain the situation.
 
‘1:10-15. The prophet addressed the people of Judah as if they were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. His criticism of their hypocritical religion should not be taken as a rejection of the divinely ordained sacrificial system. Rather, it is a condemnation of their superficial worship. (See the note on 1 Sam.15:22-23) They were merely going through the ritual of religion, with no real heart for God.’
 
And 1 Sam.15:22:23, is where Samuel is lecturing Saul for his disobedience, and talking about ‘to obey is better than sacrifice.’ The scholars’ note says: ’15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old Testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless. (cf. Ps.40:6-8; Is.1:10-20; Mic.6:8).’
 
Unfortunately though Friends, we’re seeing the very same thing happening today, possibly to an even more disturbing degree. Evil has really gotten out of hand; it controls the world, with nobody, or no bodies strong and willing enough to rein it in.
 
But my fellow believers, that’s a big part of our job! As the church, the body of Christ here on earth, we are supposed to exemplify righteousness. But sadly, too many of us are either too afraid and/or cowardly to stand up against the evildoers, or we’re simply joining with them because we too delight in doing evil.
 
However my brethren, let’s remember that there’s always a price to be paid for evil doing; a substantial one too. Listen as our ever-faithful God, through His faithful prophet Isaiah, calls the faithful to courage.
 
‘Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed (go forth) from me, and I will make my judgement (justice) to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles (coastlands) shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
 
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken).’ (Is.51:4-6)
 
Oh Friends, on those indisputably true and very serious words of our Creator, we’ll end today!
 
Please, please, let’s ponder them, let’s consider how they fit into our individual lives, and then, with the Father’s help, let’s make whatever adjustments are necessary for us to fall in line with them. For that is wisdom of the greatest magnitude! Much LOVE!
 
…to whom shall we look for righteousness… but to Him who created us…and gave us the law…
 
             
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Yes Friends, most of the Christmas hoopla has died down now. Thank the Lord! The Christmas season itself is wonderful, but all the unnecessary fuss can get to be a bit much.
 
Unfortunately though, some 60-70 thousand people, primarily in the Scarborough area of the G.T.A, are still without power, and many trees and other impediments are still to be removed from the roads to provide access.
 
It’s certainly been a very rough time for those people, and though some are still complaining about the refusal to declare a state of Emergency, the Premier of the Province, Ms. Wynne, says that isn’t necessary because all the people who would have been called in province wide, are already here helping out.
 
But that’s cold comfort for those who still don’t have power. I spoke to a friend last night, she and her husband, both in their 70’s were without power for almost 72 hours over the weekend. At one point she thought she was about to lose her mind. Imagine two people in their 70’s in a cold, dark house for almost three days nuh!
 
Ah mih people, it’s truly been a harrowing Christmas for many people in the province. And sadly, on top of the ice, there’s been some snowfall over the last couple days, not a great deal, but enough to make matters worse. Please continue praying for us and helping in whatever way you can.
 
And another group that has certainly suffered is the business owners and merchants, since many of them couldn’t open because of lack of power and possibly physical damage to their properties. And even for those who were able to open, the number of shoppers must have been seriously curtailed due to the latter’s disastrous situations.
 
To spoil their Christmas even further, today, Boxing Day, usually Canada’s biggest sales and shopping day, has seen its importance steadily eroded as we try to compete with the U.S. Thanksgiving Black Friday sales pitch. So the merchants are seriously suffering, any which way you take it.
 
However my brethren, here’s something to lift us up after all that negative and depressing news. It’s a Christmas Prayer, from the Robert H. Schuller Hour of Power Devotional. I only read it after I wrote the Bit yesterday, otherwise I would have included it. But it’s still the Christmas season, so it’s still very appropriate.
 
And again I have to wonder how this prayer seems so new and unfamiliar to me, although I’ve been reading this devotional for a number of years.
 
Anyway, it inspirationally says: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest.
 
I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree.
 
I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever: Amen.’ 
 
What inspiring and encouraging words my people! Though I had to chuckle at the end, because a lot of pines and other trees around the Province, certainly aren’t standing tall and sturdy today.
 
But the significant difference is that we believers, despite any setbacks, still have the God-given ability to stand sturdy, strong and deeply rooted in God’s amazing LOVE, becoming truly beautiful souls.
 
And we find that possible because of scriptures like our Bit. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
Yes my brethren, since Almighty God, the Creator and most omnipotent force in the universe is our guide and leader, we can stand strong in the power of His Holy Name, through the current working of His Holy Spirit, and the sacrificial work His Son, Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, did for us two thousand years ago!
 
That just goes to show how strong and powerful is our God! Two thousand years later, He’s still alive and kicking, and pushing on as strong as ever. Wow!
 
In fact He’s becoming stronger every day, as more and more people come to recognize His tremendous power, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and thus believe in Him, put their trust and faith in Him, for help in their earthly pilgrimage.
 
Ah Friends, it’s time to close. I had envisioned getting to the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, but that obviously wasn’t meant to be today. However, I’ll leave us with a wonderful scripture on the ‘king and saving’ aspect that I could not include yesterday.
 
Listen to these beautiful and encouraging words from the prophet Zechariah, as he prophesies about Zion’s future king. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just (righteous), and having salvation; lowly (humble), and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9)
 
And we all know that scripture was faithfully fulfilled on Palm Sunday!
 
So fellow believers, we’ve celebrated, sorry, we’re still celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, but we indeed have the next big occasion to look forward to, Easter, when He truly did His saving work and definitely earned His exalted position as our Lord and King. Much LOVE!
 
…to whom do we owe the treasures of salvation and eternal life…JESUS CHRIST…what a wonderful SAVIOUR…!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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