Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes on) Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

Please read with me. ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That you can see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreachable goals. I need your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what you know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

And I like the two verses after our Bit. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2016 Lamentations 3:31.

  Lamentations 3:31.    For the Lord will not cast off for ever.

Aye friends, the big day, Sunday is here! Time for worshipping, fellowshipping and offering much praise and thanks to our Creator and Provider, on this, His special day. So please darken the doors of your church, once you are physically able to. (smile) 

Do not invoke flimsy excuses for not going, because the Lord is looking down from His high heaven and taking notes in His big black book on those who refuse to come to His sanctuary and worship with other believers, when they are fully capable of doing so. So consider yourselves warned. Now to get into the right frame of mind this Sunday morning, let’s sing this well-known and very encouraging hymn; ‘It is Well.’ 

In glorious harmony now: ‘(When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul.)  (Refrain): It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain) 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain) And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. (Refrain)’ 

Yes my brethren, regardless of what happens to us down here on earth, let’s remember that it is always well with our souls, because we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our wonderful benefactor, and in time He will make everything right. And that segues smoothly into our Bit for today. ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever.’ No my fellow believers, though our great and wonderful God may chasten us, He will never cast us away for ever. 

Ah friends, Chapter three in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, sub-titled ‘Hope and relief through God’s mercy,’ is at once one of the most heartbreaking, as well as reassuring in the Bible. That’s because Jeremiah pours out his woes in the beginning, then declares his utmost hope and faith in the Lord’s mercies afterwards. 

Listen to the verse after our Bit. ‘But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.’ (Lam.3:32) And that’s indisputable truth my people, as Jeremiah earlier declares: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:22-23) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:22-23. These verses embody the central thesis of the book. When God dealt with His sinful people He exhibited His compassions. The word translated mercies conveys God’s LOVE for His covenant people. The word faithfulness comes from a root meaning “be permanent, secure, reliable.” From this comes the associated idea of genuine faith; hence, the verb can be translated “believe.” (Gen.15:6) 

The word here is often translated “faith” but literally means “firmness” or faithfulness. Thus, it is used of the faithfulness of God Himself (Ps.36:5; 40:10; Lam.3:23), and of the need for the believer likewise to be faithful in his life and his service to God (2 Chr.19:9; Ps.119:30; Prov.12:22). 

The word root stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (cf. 1 Sam.26:23; Ps.37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Oh friends, the scholars are a bit wordy there, but they do try to give us some understanding of the passages. And by now we should have stopped drinking milk and eating solid food, (smile) which means we ought to be maturing in our faith, and thus understanding the Good Book better.  

And there are also some good scriptures there for us to check out, although I don’t believe too many of us will check them out. Too much work, we claim, and we don’t have the time either. But then we expect the Lord to have time for us, when we can’t be bothered to peruse His word. 

Please remember it’s a two way street my brethren; the Lord promised to look after us, and we promised to read and meditate on His word and keep His commandments. Remember too that it takes two hands to clap, so we can’t expect God to be good to us, when we are not good to Him. 

Now let’s go home with these encouraging words from Psalm 94 – How long shall the wicked triumph. ‘Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneth (instructeth), O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest (relief) from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off (abandon) his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgement shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.’ (Ps.94:12-14) 

Please let those words of reassurance resound and take root in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds today my people, so that we can go forth and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world as our Saviour Jesus Christ desires. Much LOVE!

…if all Christians were truly faithful to God…what a wonderful world this would be…