Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.  I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

Oh my people, what else is going to mar the joy of this 2017 Christmas season eh? I’m talking about the rampant wildfires that are currently raging through Southern California with a renewed vengeance. As the old people would, say, when it’s not one thing, it’s another. And that’s the truth. 

The heartbreaking pictures of the sprawling devastation show us just how fragile and momentary our lives are. Can you imagine the terrible Christmas those people affected by those fires will spend? Ah Lord eh! Thankfully though, the loss of life doesn’t seem to be a major problem, for which we are very grateful. 

Friends, please, let’s do what we can to physically help them, but most importantly, let’s get on our knees and sincerely offer prayers on their behalf, as prayer is the greatest power on earth. 

And you know I wasn’t planning on using the Bit from the past few days today, but after writing that stuff above, I found that it was just so appropriate, that I had no choice. ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

That’s the best, in fact it’s the first thing those people should do; call on the Lord God Jehovah seeking His grace, LOVE and mercy in their devastating time of need. It’s first thing WE ALL should do when we find ourselves facing difficult situations, but oftimes it’s the last thing we do. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to turn to the Lord first nuh; if it’s a matter of trust or simple disbelief, but that’s what His word says. 

Listen to His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, who else has offered such a magnificent and welcoming invitation eh? NO ONE ELSE! But yet we have problems in accepting it, and I really can’t understand why. All I can surmise is that we don’t truly believe God’s word, our faith isn’t strong enough, and we prefer to first put our trust in man, and leave God as a last resort. 

But that’s utter foolishness my brethren! For as the psalmist so strenuously warns and reminds us in Psalm 118, a few verses after our Bit: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9) 

How much clearer can that be eh friends? Not much. But what’s our usual first response when trouble comes? We run to the phone or text a friend, or google the problem on the Internet. And if none of that works, then we cry out to God for help and expect it to come immediately. But unfortunately friends, our great God doesn’t work like that. 

He expects to be FIRST and FOREMOST in our lives, at ALL times, and in ALL situations! Anything other than that is unacceptable! Our first reaction should ALWAYS be to call on God, like Bruh David did in the opening of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. 

‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress: have mercy on me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’ (Ps.4:1) 

Oh my fellow believers, as I keep reminding us, despite all his sinfulness and troubles, Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered, thus he continually called on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

And please note how he opens his prayer by acknowledging the righteousness of God, and then remembering all the times that the Lord had previously helped him, and then on those bases, pleading for help in his current calamitous situation. 

We should be doing likewise in our time of adversity, but all too conveniently and foolishly we forget the times when the Lord helped us, and get angry when His help is not immediately forthcoming. 

Friends, we can’t want a better example than Bruh David in terms of prayer and praise. He was a man just like us with a sinful nature, but he kept crying out to God in ALL situations, and wonder of wonders, the Lord called him a friend and a man after His own heart. 

If we sincerely trust and rely on the Lord God Jehovah in ALL that we do, we too can look forward to being called a friend of God, and a man or woman after His own heart. To me, that is the greatest accolade we can ever receive in this life, and is something I’m trying to work toward. 

But in the meantime I’m also going to enjoy the blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, as listed in our Thursday Blessings. And since there is power in our words, let’s declare them with much enthusiasm, sincerity and truth nuh. 

Loud and proud 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!’ 

Oh friends, what a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! Give Him the thanks and praise He so rightly deserves, and follow His desires, as we go out and share those wonderful blessings with others today. Much LOVE!

…who is Number ONE in our lives…and who are we going to call on FIRST…the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…


 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2017 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm   118:8-9.   It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Monday, oh Monday, How I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways! Oh boy, I can’t wait for you to roll around each week. I get so excited on Sunday, knowing that you’re just round the corner! And why is that you ask? It’s simple: so that I get back out into the evil, ungodly workday world and work hard to spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry. 

Yeh friends, please remember that bringing people to Jesus, or rather causing them to come to Jesus, through talking about Him and living a life that sincerely mirrors our talk is a major priority in our Christian faith. And we can only do a good job at that when we are sincere and enthusiastic, passionate and energized, truly believing what we preach. 

That’s why proper preparation for Monday on the weekend is ever so important. But since we are all human, fragile, sinful and weak, we don’t always do the right thing. Consequently, we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to jolt us out of Monday morning emotional dilemma. (smile) So let’s sing it now nuh, putting all the enthusiasm and passion we have into it. 

As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Awright mih breddren, I can see that brought on an adrenaline rush! Please don’t lose it, but allow it to catapult you into your day, as you walk with Jesus ever and always behind, beside and before you. Oh glory to God friends that we have such a wonderful Saviour!  

And why do we do what we do? Because we have such an impeccable, unbreakable, heartwarming trust in Him! We fully and rightfully believe what our Bit says: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ 

Only a fool, or one wholly committed to evil would deny the awesome truth of those statements, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, who is incapable of lying. That means there can be no doubt as to their wisdom. And if you don’t believe me, then let’s see if these scripture passages can change your mind. (smile) 

First up are exceedingly wise words from Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. The psalmist unhesitatingly proclaims: ‘While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not you trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:’ (Ps.146:2-6) 

Oh friends, please study those very convincing words very carefully, (smile) for they contain the utmost truth. Now listen to the prophet Isaiah, who corroborates the psalmist by simply saying: ‘Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of (why should he be esteemed)? (Is.2:22) 

And why should man really be esteemed eh, especially above God, when he has nothing infinite to offer. The day he stops breathing his flesh dies and returns to the earth and he is no longer a viable entity. Meanwhile Almighty God was there even before the beginning, and will still be there after the end! He has power and might, trust and faithfulness, grace, mercy, LOVE, forgiveness, etc. etc! So wouldn’t it be wiser to put our absolute trust in Him rather than man? 

And all God’s faithful saints declared a loud and sure: ‘Obviously!’ 

And we’ll end with these pointed words from the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man (strength), and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath (a shrub) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness; in a salt land and not inhabited.’ (Jer.17:5-6) 

Oh my people, I can’t say any more than that. Those are the words of our God, and we chose NOT to believe them at our peril. Please remember that our God does not make idle promises, so whatever He says He truly means.  And if you fall on His negative side through your own fault or disbelief, then, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no better way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2014 Psalm 118:8-9

Psalm 118:8-9.   It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. 

Oh Friends, that day that many of us have been dreading, and a few of us longing for, is finally here! Yes, it’s Monday! Give the Lord a shout of praise for that nuh!
 
And you better believe that the shout was a mere whimper in comparison to the moans and groans and complaints. (smile) That means that many of us still did not prepare properly yesterday for today, consequently the whining is plentiful this Monday morning.
 
But my people we have no choice, if we want to eat and have a roof over our heads, then we must work. So let’s be up and at ‘em nuh. Let’s have the sense of purpose that Jesus had, and desires all His followers to also have, whereby we come up over our problems with His faithful help, rather than endlessly whine and complain.
 
And to assist us in doing that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much vim and vigour. Let’s kindle a fire, a burning desire in our souls to get out there and do His bidding. As one harmonious body now, let’s light up the universe with song:
 
‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Not bad at all Friends, not bad at all! Sufficient to ignite our spirits and cause the adrenalin to bubble up and flow like a lively stream just skipping along delightedly over its bed unconcerned, not worrying where it was going, or how and when it would get there, because it knew that it was in in good hands, the hands of its Creator. So too should we be my people.
 
And with that we’ll segue into our Bit. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’
 
Yes my brethren, confidence is a helluva thing, and it’s oh so important where we put it, and where we get it from! And the psalmist is definitely right when he declares that the Lord God Almighty, our Creator and Provider, is the most appropriate personage in whom to place our trust and confidence, rather than in mortal man, be they lowly or powerful.
 
And it’s a very logical conclusion since mortal man does not control the universe, has no effective control even over his own destiny. He’s here today and gone tomorrow, blown away in the wind and forgotten, like the dust from which he was formed. He has no control over the breath of life in his finite body, which was breathed into him by the infinite Jehovah God, His Maker.
 
So why should we put our confidence and trust in such a flimsy and unsure body eh?  Meanwhile, as the scriptures tell us, the Lord, our omnipotent God, endures from generation to generation. He was the FIRST, and He will be the LAST! No doubt about that my fellow believers!
 
Now let’s check out some scriptures that wisely advise us to put our trust and confidence in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And we’ll get the ball rolling with some wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart (turn one away) from the snares of death.’ (Prov.14:26-27)
 
And in my humble existence Friends, I can find nothing to dispute the truth of those words.
 
Meanwhile, the sons of Korah staunchly declare in Psalm 84: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12)
 
Oh my brethren, in my three score and odd years, I’ve found no reason to doubt those words either.
 
Now listen to Bruh David expound on God’s goodness and power from Psalm 40 – praise for answered prayer. ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
 
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee (recounted): if I would declare them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps.40:3-5)
 
Now Friends, if we have a powerful and trustworthy Deity like that looking after our affairs, then why should we trust relatively powerless and unwise mortal man eh? No reason whatsoever my people.
 
But unfortunately, a lot of us can’t believe what we don’t see and/or feel, and are also greatly influenced by the lustful appetites of the world. Therefore we still put our sincere trust and confidence in wicked mortal man, though we are disappointed by him most of the time.
 
Oh Friends, if we ever hope to turn this evil and ungodly world around, then we have to start making wise decisions. And the first and wisest of them all is to stop trusting in untrustworthy man and begin trusting in a faithful and LOVING God. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to trust…to trust…and yet to trust in Almighty God…that is the duty of man…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2013 Jeremiah 17:9

Jeremiah 17:9.   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
And then it was Saturday… Hip, hip hurrah! (smile) Long time I haven’t heard that one. Yes Friends, it’s Saturday with all its late rising due to tiredness from the workweek, plus from Friday night’s partying, with more plans for partying later on. Let’s hope though, that somewhere in our busy and /or lazy weekend, there are also plans for church and fellowship with other believers.
 
Unfortunately, some people work harder at home on the weekends than they do during the week at their places of employment. What with young children to look after – no baby sitter then, laundry to be done, groceries bought, the house cleaned, and all the necessary preparations for the following week.
 
Some people, especially mothers long for the week to begin. And with school soon opening, hn! That means more shopping for new fashionable stuff to wear, and all the other accoutrements for back to school. It’s a good thing my days for that stuff are over. Thank You Lord!
 
No wonder a lot of parents aren’t too enamoured of the weekends since their personal lives get even busier than during the week. But Friends, that’s the price they say we have to pay for progress, although I really don’t see how we can call it progress, when we’re so busy that we don’t have much time for ourselves.
 
And with both parents out working now, often at more than one job, just to make ends meet, that seems to be a step backwards rather than forwards, especially when you add stuff like the breakdown of the family, the high unemployment rate and the constant fear in the air of losing one’s job to outsourcing in some undeveloped country.
 
Anyway my brethren, I know it’s rough out there for many of us, and it’s liable to get rougher before it gets better. But as believers, we need to stand strong in Christ and the faithful promises of our wonderful and ever-faithful God.
 
Now He never promised that life would always be sunshine and roses, but that He will not cause us to suffer more than we can bear, and will bring us out of anything He allows us to go through, refined by the fire. So we need to let our faith soar, to take heart and believe that our Creator will come through for us, as He’s promised.
 
And talking about heart, let’s finally bring in our Bit: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
And that’s gospel, gospel truth my people! Our hearts are so deceptive, and change so quickly, like chameleons, from one extreme to the next, who can really know what’s truly buried in them eh?
 
That’s why Jeremiah continues speaking on God’s behalf: ‘I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (mind, most secret parts), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds). (Jer.17:10)
 
Oh Friends, the Lord’s lucky, He can see into the depths of man’s soul and reveal their true motives. Meanwhile, we humans can only judge another’s heart basically by their words and outward actions. And sadly that leads to an inordinate amount of lies, deceptions, heartbreaks and other evil deeds.
 
Now before we get into some relevant scripture, hear these important words from the scholars. ’17:9-10: The heart (cf. Prov.4:23) means man’s innermost being. The bent of man’s natural disposition, apart from God’s redeeming grace, is described as deceitful (lit. crooked) and desperately wicked (incurably sick).
 
Therefore man cannot trust his own heart but must leave all to God who alone knows the heart and judges all men fairly. Only a person with a redeemed heart can live in proper fellowship with God. (Job 11:13; 1 John 3:18-24).’
 
Yes my people, because of the naturally evil disposition of our hearts, trust in man is a very uncertain and hazardous act. No wonder the psalmist so strongly advised: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9) Please note that he specified that not even royalty can be trusted.
 
But all of this untrustworthiness began right at the very beginning when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat of the tree of life and knowledge. When the Lord came looking for them, they hid, because they knew they had disobeyed Him. Their eyes were also opened and thus they realised their nakedness and attempted to cover up themselves. And when God asked them what had happened, the blame laying began. Adam blamed Eve, and she blamed the serpent. 
 
Ah Lord eh! But God was having none of their deceitfulness and kicked them out of the beautiful garden. (Gen.3)  And sadly Friends, from that day onwards, man’s heart just kept getting more and more evil.
 
Until the day God finally took stock of man: ‘And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination (thought or intent) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (all the day long). And it repented the Lord (the Lord was sorry) that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.’ (Gen.6:5-6)
 
So much so, that He decided to destroy everything that He’d so tenderly made. Ah mih breddren, when man’s heart becomes so wicked that it alarms God and grieves Him so much that He considers destroying all the beautiful things He’s made, you must know that things are in a really bad state.
 
And we’ll end with some more important words from the scholars on those two verses. ‘Repented does not imply that God made a mistake in His dealing with men, but rather indicates a change in divine direction resulting from the actions of man.
 
It is “an anthropopathism” (a human emotion applied to God), describing the pain that is caused God by the destructiveness of His creatures. It is used 30 times with God as its subject, each time speaking of a change of mind or intention that accords with His righteous purposes, and results in action commensurate with those purposes.’
 
Wow! We’ll soon need someone to explain the explanations! (smile)
 
Oh mih people, there’s a lot more to come tomorrow, God willing of course. But let’s ponder today’s stuff with an open heart, remembering that it’s only as we turn to Almighty God with a redeemed heart, that we’re able to stand in His holy presence. That ought to give us plenty of food for thought. Much LOVE!
 
…who knows the true thoughts of a man’s heart…only the Lord God Jehovah…