Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether 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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2014 Job 14:14

 Job 14:14.  If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come.

And then it was terrible Thursday, where all the frustrations of the week gang up on you, and makes you just want to curl up in a big ole ball in some small corner and die.
 
And I’m saying this from personal experience, because there are some things I wanted to do this week but just never got around to doing them, and I’m not thrilled with myself.
 
However, I don’t want to curl up and die, I just want to curl up in bed and get a few more hours sleep. (smile) This late night going to bed and early morning waking up to write the Bit is taking its toll on the ole fella.
 
Then to add insult to injury, yesterday evening, I guess I was feeling strong, and went for a longer than normal walk. Now this morning the ole knees are creaking and complaining. Got to restore some sense of balance to my life yes!
 
Anyway Friends, despite all the frustrations we encounter in this earthly life, one thing is certain; we are not allowed to give up! Those words do not exist in the vocabulary of Jesus Christ and His followers!
 
Our task is to continually take hold of God’s grace, to endure our afflictions with patience, without growing weary, knowing that in God’s own good time, He will ‘perfect,’ establish and strengthen us. We must wait on the Lord and be of good courage.
 
That’s the whole situation right there in a nutshell my people; waiting with hungry hope, as well as with eager and expectant faith! Nothing else will serve us in good stead.
 
That’s why Job, in our Bit today, boldly declares: ‘If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
 
For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up, (plaster over, cover over) mine iniquity.’ (Job 14:14-17)
 
Oh Friends, we all know about Job’s serious misfortunes for no apparent reason. He was seriously troubled and disappointed by them, and longed for death as a release from the trials and tribulations of this earth, but deep down he knew the valuable secret of waiting on the Lord despite the troubles that surround us.
 
That’s why earlier on, in defending his integrity before his friends, he could also boldly proclaim: ‘Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.
 
He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speech and my declaration with your ears.’ (Job 13:14-17)
 
Now that, my people, is what true trust and faith in Almighty God is all about! That’s the way we need to react when trials and tribulations befall us. No, it certainly isn’t easy, but as a child of God, and a follower of Jesus Christ, that’s what is required of us.
 
And remember too, that our wonderful God NEVER asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal to do it and bear the fall out from our actions. So His grace will ALWAYS be with us, when we stand strong in His name and wait patiently for His next move.
 
And to bring this matter to the forefront, today we will look at some scriptures that deal with waiting on God. And we’ll begin with one of the more famous verses on the subject; that from Bruh David in Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and my salvation.
 
He ends the psalm with these marvellous words of trust and encouragement. ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:14)
 
And we know that Bruh David tried his best to practice what he preached, and the Lord greatly rewarded him for it!
 
Meanwhile, Cousin Sol in Proverbs 20, advises us thus: ‘Say not thou, I will recompense (repay) evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.’ (Prov.20:22)
 
Yes my people, in everything, especially in something like vengeance, we MUST wait on God, for He specifically says that that’s His department, not ours. (Deut.32:35)
 
And Isaiah in his appeal to the Jewish people to turn to the Lord for help, wisely says: ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is.30:18)
 
Yuh see my brethren, even God is patiently waiting; waiting on us to wisely turn all out seriously misplaced attention back to Him!
 
And the scholars have an interesting footnote on that verse: ’30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’
 
That, my fellow believers, hits the nail right on the head! (smile) We only wait long for things and people that we confidently trust. The same goes for Jehovah God. If we don’t trust Him, then we can’t and/or won’t wait for Him.
 
But Friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. So let’s get ourselves together today and do our best to wait on Almighty God for whatever time it takes, because He is all-wise and knows our needs and wants and the good plans He has for our lives better than us.
 
So let’s try and shape up today in the waiting department nuh, asking God to give us His endless grace to do so where necessary. You know He will NEVER turn us down.  Much LOVE!
 
…to wait on God takes…trust, faith, hope, belief, patience, perseverance and acknowledgement…that He is indeed the Father of all creation…and His promises are forever faithful…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2014 Acts 10:38

Acts 10:38.     How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him. 

Ah mih people, the ole fella’s a tad tired this Friday morning… 
 
And totally ignoring my incapacity, the crowd raucously declared: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and we done work for a couple of days! Thank the Lord for the weekend, so that we can party down the place!’ 
 
Thanks very much Friends… Now I know who my true Friends are not! (smile) 
 
But such is the importance of Fridays in our crazy, business driven, modern world, that many people would disregard important stuff just to get a leg up, a head-start on a Friday. But my fellow believers, we know that’s not the right way to handle the weekend, because that attitude will get us in even more trouble come Monday morning, when it’s time to resume work. 
 
So to help us in mitigating some of that wrongly directed enthusiasm, let’s chant our Friday Chant. With some soulful chanting 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 brethren, that’s more like how we should handle the blessed two days off work that we’ve been so graciously granted – more like a rejuvenation process than one that makes us even more tired and miserable. 
 
And that segues quite nicely into our Bit: ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him.’ 
 
And do I ever LOVE that particular bit of scripture! That’s because it tells us in a nutshell, how Jesus lived His earthly life, and how we are to be, if we want to live ours as He did His. 
 
In my mind’s eye, I imagine Jesus getting up early in the morning, before the cocks even began crowing, making His ablutions, then going out to some quiet place to pray. Then after sincerely communing with His heavenly Father, He comes back home, has breakfast, gather’s His thoughts, contemplating what the day might hold, then hits the streets for a day of simply doing good!
 
I also like that phrase ‘doing good,’ because it encompasses such a wide variety of things and actions, something for everyone. And something must be wrong with me yes people, but I find it so much easier to do good than to do evil. 
 
In fact, all faithful believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, in other words, ALL CHRISTIANS, ought to find it much easier to good rather than evil. It’s just supposed to be who we are! 
 
Unfortunately though, such is the sinful and wicked nature of man, especially when grafted with the world’s driving lusts, that many supposed Christians are numbered amongst some of the most vile and evil people on planet earth! 
 
The worst part of that situation though Friends, is that it turns others off of Jesus when they see His supposed followers behaving like junk yard dogs, with Lucifer’s evil nature flowing up out of their hearts and minds. 
 
Ah mih people, my heart gets rather heavy when I think of all the wrong doing and evil deeds that are committed by us Christians, many of them for no good reason. Ofttimes we’re either too lazy to do otherwise, or we’re in a petty frame of mind, possibly seeking vengeance, instead of leaving it up to the Lord, as He has so often instructed us to do. 
 
And just to give us a gentle reminder of that scripture, (smile), here is where it originates. ‘To me belongeth vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ (Deut.32:35) 
 
Yes Friends, that’s the definitive command of our mighty God! And for paraphrases on it, you can check out Ps. 94:1; Rom.12:19; and Heb. 10:30. 
 
And I’m chuckling here, because I never intended to admonish us today, but rather to share some foundational scripture on the matter. I guess though, that the Holy Spirit saw the need for admonishment and guided me there. 
 
Anyway Friends, the long and short of the story is that CHRISTIANS ARE EXPECTED TO DO GOOD IN ALL ASPECTS AND WALKS OF THEIR LIVES! However, we can’t accomplish that without a heart, mind and soul truly filled with the LOVE OF JESUS. 
 
Therefore, I’m pleading with us, that today, and everyday hence, we get to the nearest outlet that serves up JESUS’ LOVE, and fill up our hearts, souls and minds with it. It could be from a number of sources; through the Good Book, a church service, a pastor, a righteous friend, or even our own serious and sincere communication with Jesus. 
 
But we definitely need to refill our souls and recharge our batteries with the LOVE OF CHRIST EVERYDAY, if we want to do His will. That’s the wisdom of all wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…just like a tree can only bear one type of fruit…likewise…good things and actions…can only come from a good heart and a good soul…