Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Well friends, it’s Wednesday! What’s on tap for today eh? I’m supposed to have my eaves troughs replaced today, so hopefully that will solve my problem of water leaking down into my basement when the rain falls. 

Let’s hope and pray that it actually does stop it yes, else I’ll just hold my head and bawl! Yes, I will, because I’ve been trying to fix the problem for a while now and nothing else has worked. And for the kind of money I’m expected to pay, it ought to… it better had work! (smile) 

But all I can truly do is leave it in God’s hands, for regardless of what I think or do, it’s His will that will eventually prevail, and I know that He will in His own time work everything out for my good. Glory to the great God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It so reminded me of our foolish behaviour that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Two Questions.’ 

And it simply says: ‘O God In my fear and frenzy In my darkness and dread My screaming question is “Where are You?” And in reply, the Lord simply answers: ‘Wandering child When things were going well And you carelessly ignored Me Where were you?’ 

Now that’s a very question friends, to which we have no good answer. That’s because too often, too many of us conveniently forget the Lord when things are going well. But as soon as our lives begin to get topsy-turvy we’re quick to run to Him and plead, ‘Oh Lord help me!’ And we expect Him to jump right on the problem. Hn! 

But life doesn’t work like that friends. Our God is not there to simply fix our problems when we decide to ask Him. We have the whole concept wrong: We’ve been created to serve and worship Him, to be available at His behest, not He at ours. 

But He’s so wonderful that He’s arranged a covenant, a partnership with us, that if we serve and worship Him faithfully, He will indeed answer us when we call. He has even gone so far as to promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

But friends, that all depends on us keeping our part of the bargain, faithfully serving and worshipping Him. So please let’s stop the nonsense nuh. It’s high time we stop ignoring our God and our Creator when times are good, and instead constantly seek Him, whatever the state of our lives. 

And it’s all for our own benefit yes mih people. Our God doesn’t need anything from us since He owns everything and everyone in the universe. We are the needy ones. So let’s start knowing our place and begin giving Almighty God the adulation and glory He so rightfully deserves…that is if we want to see favour and length of days. 

And one of the surest ways to obtain God’s favour is by understanding our Bit and living according to it. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

As we said yesterday friends, one must have faith to be saved, but one must also show that faith by doing good works in Jesus’ name, for He expects it of His followers. 

Remember what He said about false prophets? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) The same goes for us my brethren; true believers shall be known by their faithful works. It’s very easy to profess faith, but to manifest it is another story. 

That’s why Bruh Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22). And when we walk in it; in LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control), then we will obviously bring forth good fruit, good works, to back up our faith. 

Now after our Bit, James goes on to argue about Abraham and his willingness to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice as an example of the faithful being recognized for good works. And then he talks of the harlot Rehab, as a non-believer being considered faithful for her good works by her saving the Jewish spies. (James 2:21-26). 

However friends, the scholars have a long explanation which I can’t go through for lack of time and space, but what they essentially say is that James and Bruh Paul are using the word for ‘faith’ with different meanings and ‘justified’ in different senses. 

Bruh Paul using his New Testament theological idea of  ‘God’s act of declaring all believers righteous on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work. But a common Old Testament and gospel usage involves demonstrating or showing something to be righteous (cf.Ps.51:4; Luke 7:35; Rom.3:4); it is this usage that James follows. 

They are discussing totally different subjects, since they are confronted by different problems. Paul opposing the Judaizers seeks to prove that the Gentiles can be saved and sanctified apart from circumcision or any other work of the law. James opposing merely nominal, professing Christians, seeks to show that true faith confirms itself by deeds of LOVE.’  

So let’s understand that they are not fighting each other, but together, against different foes on different subjects. And now that that has all been cleared up, (smile) let’s go home sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, which addresses our faith, and consequently, our good works. 

‘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!’ 

Have a blessed day my faithful brethren, manifested by good works! Much LOVE!…

both faith and works are important parts of Jesus’ awesome LOVE…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Well well my brethren, it seems like it’s going to be another mild but wet and gloomy day in my neighbourhood. But once it’s not the white stuff that’s coming down I am happy. (smile) 

As always, I do hope that we gave our most awesome God sincere thanks and praise for causing us to see another great day on His wonderful planet earth. 

And please don’t laugh sarcastically or get cynical, because every day we’re alive is indeed a great day, and planet earth is indeed a wonderful place! Any negative happenings are our fault, not the Lord’s. 

So what’s happening today, you ask? Well we’re going to continue looking at some wonderful scriptures that corroborate the words of Bruh David in Psalm 23. 

First of all let’s check out a wonderful passage from Ezekiel which encompasses the first two verses: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest). (Ps.23:1-2)  

In his prophecy against the sinful shepherds of Israel, Ezekiel declares on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 

And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers (streams), and in all the inhabited places of the country. 

I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat (rich) pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. 

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgement (justice).’ (Ezek.34:11-16) 

Oh friends, what beautiful promises from our Most High God Jehovah! I’m sure some of us never even knew that such a scripture existed. 

But there are thousands of sincere promises just like that throughout the Good Book, and if we’d take the time to read and seek them out, our lives would so much more encouraged and assured, since our faithful God NEVER reneges on any of His promises. 

And if you say, oh that’s in the Old Testament, so what? That’s why so many of us are lost and suffering; because we don’t know what came before us. As the saying goes: how can you know where you’re going, when you don’t know where you’re coming from? 

And that’s the living truth! Our history is not taught or preached anymore; consequently so many lost souls exist in a vacuum today. 

And if you still denigrate that scripture because it comes from the Old Testament, then listen to this one from the New Testament which fulfills that promise. 

‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 

The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

But he that is a hireling (hired man) and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:7-14) 

There you have it friends, the overwhelming promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Let’s hope we believe it, and live our lives accordingly. And that’s enough scripture for us to ponder on today, (smile) so let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

As one 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!’ 

Much LOVE, my faithful brethren!

…history is a record of the past…that helps us to understand the present…and wisely contemplate the future…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Aye friends, it’s a rainy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, but it sure is good to be alive! Praise the Lord! I sure hope that all of us who have enjoyed His awesome largesse this morning have given Him the thanks and praise He so rightfully deserves. 

Every day we open our sleepy eyes, to another day, we ought to shout ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for allowing me to see another beautiful day down here in paradise!’ For contrary to what a lot of us think, earth is indeed the Lord’s paradise, we have just made it seem like hell with all our iniquity and the carnality injected by the enemy. 

I was actually up a few hours earlier, but still felt sleepy, so I decided to get some more z’s, got to get them when I can (smile) since my sleep recently has not been the greatest, what with all the different medications I’m taking. 

But I feel fairly fresh now, so let’s get into our Bit without further ado. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

Yeah mih people, we’re still with that most promising of verses, because there is still a lot to say about the 23rd Psalm. Bruh David must have been truly inspired when he wrote it, there’s just no other answer to why it’s so beautiful and so encouraging! 

Anyway, what I want to do today is first share some thoughts from the scholars on it, then some choice scriptures which corroborate its verses. 

So listen first to the scholars: ‘Psalm 23. The psalm had been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New (John 10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. 

The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however, he is also like an honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! Glory to our great God on High! Praise His Holy Name, for He is indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

Yes friends, our awesome God deserves even more praise and thanks than our mortal souls can give! He’s done so much for us, creating, protecting and providing for us all down through the ages, despite our foolish penchant for turning away from Him. 

Now let’s look at some corroborative scriptures. Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is my shepherd…’ 

And Isaiah, when he talks about comfort through trust in the Lord, declares in full agreement: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. 

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

How beautiful, promising and reassuring is that eh my fellow believers! One can’t ask for more. Then Bruh David says: ‘I shall not want (lack).’ 

And Bruh Paul shouts back at the Philippians: ‘But I have (received) all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell (aroma), a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever Amen.’ (Phil.4:18-20) 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! The Philippians had sent some gifts to Paul, and as the scholars tell us: ‘4:18. I have all means that Paul has received their gifts. And abound signifies that he has plenty, since all needs are now met through their generosity. God looks on their gift to Paul as an odour of a sweet smell (a fragrant scent) and a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing.’ 

‘4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (vs.18) the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their “need” (1) according to his riches, that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources; (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that as we ponder all we’ve said today, it will bring a greater understanding of the Lord’s word and His many promises, and increase our faith and LOVE for Him. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra in full voice and strong belief. ‘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!’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people, so let’s go out and put it all into action nuh! For that’s what Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to know…know…know Him…is to LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 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 God.

Well friends, it’s a cloudy morning in my area. The sun is not shining, but thankfully the Son is holding forth as usual in all His wonderful radiance and brilliant glory! 

All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Leader, Lord and Saviour! Without Him, we’d be certainly dead in our sins, heading for a rough and troubled eternity with Lucifer in Hades. 

But thanks to God’s great LOVE and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we have been reconciled to the Father and as His beloved children, can now look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. Glory Hallelujah! 

And on that glorious note, let’s declare out Thursday Blessings, as we remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. With true belief, sincerity and enthusiasm 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!’ 

Glory to God my people! We shall be blessed when we go out and come in, when we sit or lie down… in fact in all aspects of our lives our God will cause us to prosper. Wow! Isn’t that something else? It surely is! 

That’s why we have to pay serious attention to our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was the original trailblazer of our faith. He first ran the race and set all the standards for it. Now we need to adhere to those standards so that we can run the race successfully too. It’s not an easy race to run, for it’s a marathon across hill and dale, rivers and streams, one fraught with all sorts of dangers and impediments. 

But thankfully Jesus has blazed the trail, shown us the way, lit the path, and if we sincerely abide by His word, then we too will have success, and one day hear the Father declare: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Oh what a joyful day that will be my people! But first we have to get serious about looking to Jesus and following in His famous footsteps, otherwise we’re just wasting our time and His. 

Now let’s look at a couple of interesting parts of our Bit, the first being, ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ 

Now I really don’t see the joy in what Jesus was asked to do by the Father nuh – take the sins of the world on His shoulders, be crucified in innocence to pay for the iniquity and transgressions of ungrateful people. 

It was joyful for us, because through His actions our sins were forgiven, but it must surely have been mind-bending and agonizing for Him. However, despite the affliction, His obedience to the Father’s will was perfect. 

That brings us to Jesus’ words to the two disciples He met on Resurrection Day along the road to Emmaus. He chided them for their disbelief. 

‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27) 

Oh friends, the Lord didn’t send the prophets because He had nothing better to do, but to open the eyes of the people unto the coming of Jesus and what His purpose was going to be. 

Hear the scholars. ’24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

And unfortunately, today a lot of us are also refusing to understand the importance of the Old Testament in the formation of the New Testament. But the scholars kindly inform us: ‘24:27. The entire Old Testament is indispensable for a grounded grasp of the identity and significance of Jesus.’ 

That is friends, if we don’t understand Jesus’ role and significance in the Old Testament; His appearances, His status, His doings and the prophesies about Him, we won’t be fully able to comprehend His form and function in the New Testament. 

Therefore, please, let’s stop considering the Old Testament as passé, because it isn’t. It’s just as important as the New Testament in that it expounds the nature of our faith; it’s beginnings, its ups and downs, its promises, and above all the great message about our Messiah. 

So today, as Almighty God blesses us, and as we bless others, let’s remember where we came from – the Old Testament – because if we don’t know our history and recognize it as being important, we surely won’t know our future; where we’re going, the direction in which we’re headed and how to handle it. Much LOVE!

…only as we look to Jesus…will we see the true path to successful living…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2016 Psalm 51:15.

 Psalm 51:15.    O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’

Oh my beautiful people, I’m sure that this morning most of us are joyfully declaring: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ The only problem is that we’re not declaring it because we’re excited and enthusiastic to go to work, but because we don’t have to go to work this Labour Day Monday.  

Hn, hn! We certainly are something else yes! But what to do eh? That’s obviously the nature of the beast. However, unfortunately in this 24/7 society, some of us do have to go to work to keep the essential services running smoothly and allow our highly technological world to function properly and allow us to keep on enjoying all our wonderful amenities. 

That means there is still the need for us to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour on this Labour Day Monday, which was originally a celebration of the gains made in reducing the work week and other inhumane actions that were then sinfully perpetrated by the management class. However most of that has now been forgotten, and it’s just an occasion to party. 

So in clarity and harmony let’s sing. ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, the voices were strong, but raucous and not harmonious. That’s because the ones who have the day off were the loudest, and they have already been celebrating, so their voices are a bit hoarse. I could see Jesus simply shaking His head and smiling, knowing full well the reason for the poor rendition. But nonetheless we’ll persevere, because through Jesus, who strengthens us, we can do infinitely anything and everything! (Phil. 4:13) 

And so, we come to our Bit. ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ Yes my people, that’s a very good line for us to follow. These words were written by Bruh David after the prophet Nathan draped him up over his sinfulness with Bathsheba. Having acknowledged his wrongdoing and pleading for mercy and forgiveness, Bruh David prays for inner renewal. 

‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then shall I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.’ (Ps.51:7-14) 

Ah friends, Bruh David finally realizes the utter stupidity of his lustful liaison with Bathsheba, and having asked for cleansing, he then promises ministry and thanksgiving. And I have to chuckle, because like so many of us Bruh David obviously never considered the consequences of his sinful actions before he did them. But having eventually being found out, he had no qualms in confessing them and asking for God’s pardon. 

Likewise, we should not be too proud to ask for cleansing and healing when our iniquities are brought to light. As Bruh David declares after our Bit: ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:16-17) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord expects from us when we come to Him for forgiveness and mercy; humility and brokenness. 

The scholars tell us: ‘This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God.’ What wonderful news friends! 

And we’ll end with these important words from the scholars: ‘The prayer take not thy Holy Spirit from me (v.11) need never be offered by a New Testament saint, since the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently  (1 Cor.6:19). David’s cry here may reflect only the fear, not the reality of losing the Spirit, and being rejected by God. Thus he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation, not salvation itself.’ 

Now that’s something to celebrate my people! Unlike the folks in the Old Testament who only received the Holy Spirit for specific purposes and periods of time, we, through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus, instead have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us continually, leading and guiding us along the straight and narrow path, making it much easier for us to be obedient to God’s word. 

But please remember, the onus is still on us to follow the Spirit’s guidance. So as we enjoy the day, in whatever way, let’s not forget Granny’s golden advice, which covers every aspect and occasion of life. ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business…’ Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say… the greatest wisdom is to obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2016 Hebrews 11:1.

 Hebrews 11:1.    Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

Welcome my Scrip-Bit friends and family to this glorious Thursday morn; the first day of September 2016! Our God is alive and well in His heaven, faithfully looking over His people here on earth. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Now the 1st of September in the northern climes usually means that the summer is technically over; the free paper burn, holidays are over, no more weekends at the cottage, it’s back to school and work, and begin thinking about the winter weather that will be upon us in another couple of months. 

But before we get to that (smile), I want to share ‘A Prayer for Solutions,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all the difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people? It surely is! We allow the problems, rather than the possibilities to run our lives.  Remember, we live; we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor.5:7) So as our faith goes, so go our lives. 

If our faith is strong, then we walk comfortably with the Lord. If our faith is weak and we have many doubts, then our walk of faith is not as strong and we are liable to take more missteps and make more mistakes than we ought to. 

And I sincerely believe that lack of true faith is one of the Christian’s biggest problems nowadays. With the world and all its evil and lustful pleasures and demand for material possessions coming against us so strongly, it’s very easy to falter, to lose faith and sight in God and succumb to the temptation. 

That’s why faith is so crucial in our everyday lives, something we need to keep at the forefront all the time, since it’s so easy to lose faith when the trials and tribulations beset us. And what is faith you ask? 

Well the Good Book gives us this definition, which is also our Bit for today. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yeh friends, technically, it’s about hoping for and believing what we cannot see. 

But here is an excellent explanation on our Bit from the scholars. ’11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament (cf. 3:14, 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. 

The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Oh friends, I know that is somewhat convoluted and might prove confusing, but please take your time and reason it out, and it will eventually become clear. Faith is the biggest thing in our Christian walk. It’s what keeps us attached to our awesome God; to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Only by faith can we believe it all! 

As the Good Book tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

So my brethren, it’s all about hope and belief. Remember, you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope, for hope is what stirs the pot of faith and keeps it bubbling up strong and positive. 

Now let’s truly acknowledge our hope and faith by enthusiastically declaring our Thursday Blessings, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Wonderful my people! Now let’s go out and put our faith into action nuh, because it’s useless unless and until it is acted upon! Much LOVE!

…faith calls for works…and works demand faith to do them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2016 Psalm 11:4.

Psalm 11:4.     The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try (test), the children of men.

Well friends, another bright, sunshiny, hot day has blossomed in my neck of the woods! Glory Be!

But the truth of the matter is that we do need some rain, haven’t seen any in ages. We were promised some over the weekend, but nary a drop of heavenly blessings has fallen on the dry, thirsty ground. 

Meanwhile, I understand that T&T is been flooded with heavenly water! Hn! But what to do eh?

Nothing but keep on hoping and praying and having faith that our great God who is in control and has a plan mapped out for the universe, knows what He is doing. He is the wisest of the wise, so it’s only reasonable to assume that He has the situation well in hand. 

Now listen to some inspirational words from a song by the Jamaican Reggae singer Luciano. I’ve always liked it, but I heard it yesterday and was guided to share it. 

‘I took a little trip, trying to find myself, journeying within my soul. It took a little time then to realize that something was not right. How many years are filled without? Guess I supplanted all my doubts. There was no one, no one for me. No one but His holy help for me. 

(Chorus) And I know that, as long as He is my friend, my soul will be secure until the end. And I know that, as long as He is my guide, under His wings of LOVE I will abide. 

My life was filled with thistles and thorns, from the day that I was born. With only my faith to carry me on, through the wind and the storm. He said if you will follow me, take up thy cross and come, forget thyself. Let’s journey into the beyond. 

And I know that, as long as He is my friend, my soul will be secure until the very end. And I know that, as long as He is my guide, under His wings of LOVE, I will survive.’ 

Oh friends, many of us can attest to the truth of that situation! We were lost, then went looking for something or someone to soothe our souls.

And glory hallelujah, we found the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in all His LOVING-kindness, who encouraged us to take up our cross and follow Him into the great beyond. 

However, one proviso was necessary to do that properly; forget our selves and concentrate on Him, make Him our first priority in this life. And for all of us who accepted that invitation, we’ve been sure and secure in His friendship and guidance ever since! 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud, and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord for His unfailing kindness to the children of men!’ 

Now let’s back up and strengthen all we’ve said so far by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with heartfelt sincerity and overwhelming truth. 

As one 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!’ 

Beautiful, my people, beautiful! Now let’s make sure all of that is firmly embedded and entrenched in our souls, because that’s who we are, not what the world says about us! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and confident, ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord of all power and glory! For He is mighty within the universe!’ 

And to corroborate our contentions, let’s turn to our Bit, words of Bruh David from Psalm 11 – In the Lord I put my trust. ‘The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try (test), the children of men.’ 

Oh yes my brethren, the Father, the Creator of ALL, sits on His heavenly throne watching and testing us! There’s no way for us to escape His holy attention, to run and hide from His all-pervasive sight.

So what should we do eh? Like Luciano says in his song: forget ourselves, take up our cross and follow the Lord God Almighty into the great beyond! 

It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. It’s not for the weak and frail. But with God’s ever-generous help, even the weak and frail can accomplish it. That just shows the magnanimity of the great God we serve and worship! 

And the scholars comment thus on the matter. ‘Psalm 11. A vision of the Lord on His throne (v.4) is all the righteous need for security in the face of the threat of the wicked (v.2).’ 

Yeh friends, if we picture our great and wonderful God sitting on His heavenly throne, ruling the roost, we ought to feel safe and secure in our souls. Now let’s look at some scripture that detail God’s place in the heaven. Hear Isaiah, as he talks about Zion’s future hope. 

‘Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

 

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been (exist), saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.’ (Is.66:1-2) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘11:1-16. Isaiah’s final prophecy begins with the assertion, Thus saith the Lord. The passage points to the magnitude and immensity of God, who is greater than the heavens. Thus heaven is His throne and earth His footstool. He is not limited to any house (temple) made by man. 

The apostle John tells us that in eternity there is no need for a temple, “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev.21:22).

God’s desire is to dwell in men and women who are of a poor and…contrite spirit. Thus Isaiah foresees the New Testament doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the temple of man’s body (1 Cor.6:19) 

Enough for now friends. Let’s ponder it all, as we walk with Jesus today and share his LOVE with the world, as he desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the LOVE of God…makes the world go round…

 

 

 

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