Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2014 Deuteronomy 8:18

Deuteronomy 8:18.  But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
 
And finally, it was Friday…!
 
And sadly there’s that first touch of that feared white precipitate (snow) on the ground in my area. Chuh! Now granted it’s only a light dusting, but snow in any form is deceitful and dangerous, so it’s always wise to keep a watchful and wary eye on it. (smile)
 
Anyway, it’s a warning that it’s now in my neighbourhood, and it’s liable to overwhelm us at any time, oftimes at very inopportune ones.
 
Nonetheless, with the realization that it’s Friday, an unbelievable amount of laughter and joy permeates the work place. Everybody is high-fiving each other and boldly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! This labouring soon done, and we going to party away the weekend!’
 
Not so fast Friends, not so fast. Remember the weekend is not only for levity, but also for rest, renewal and some serious communication with our heavenly Father! So please back off somewhat on the party scene, because that’s why we’re always tired and miserable on a Monday morning, unable to get up on time to go out to make our living.
 
And to help us with that problem, let’s chant our Friday Chant in loud voice and sincere spirit. ‘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 mih breddren, as good, ole Jeeves would say, we have to temper our enthusiasm for the weekend with a modicum of circumspection. (smile)
 
But it is certainly true; we do have to dial back a tad on the party scene, and give God a bigger piece of the pie, a greater amount of our attention, for remember, all that we are, and all that we have, comes from Him, not always directly, but He is indeed the source, the fountainhead of ALL our blessings!
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ Words of absolute truth, my people!
 
And the scholars corroborate this: ‘8:18. God…he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant: Yahweh alone gave Israel the ability to get wealth, and the blessing the nation enjoyed was the result of His covenant with the people and was the outcome of His promise to their forefathers.’
 
Now Friends, though we fall under the new covenant with Jesus, the source of everything is still the same; Almighty God…Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider. Yes Friends, it is indeed our Creator who enriches us with ALL things!
 
As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’ (Prov.10:22) And who should know better than Cousin Sol about wealth and God’s goodness eh, since he is considered the wisest and richest man ever?
 
And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to Abraham’s servant to Laban, Rebekah’s brother, when he was sent out to find a wife for Isaac. ‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
And there’s no doubt that Abraham was indeed wealthy, both in earthly goods and spiritual enlightenment! And those things could only have come from one source; the great and wonderful God he diligently served and sincerely worshipped!
 
Now here’s another noteworthy example of God’s ability to increase earthly wealth. There came a time when the Lord caused Isaac to dwell in Gerar, the land of the Philistines. But for fear that the men of the place would kill him and take away his beautiful wife Rebekah, he lied and said that she was his sister. Like father like son eh? Brings to mind when Abraham lied that Sarah was his sister. (Gen.12:10-20)
 
But as so often happens our lies are eventually found out, and it’s rather interesting how Isaac’s lie was discovered. One inauspicious day, the king of the Philistines, Abimelech, happened to look out a window of his palace, and lo and behold what does he see? He sees Isaac sporting with (caressing) Rebekah. (Gen.26:6-11)
 
Obviously this caused some contention between Isaac and the king. However, after it was all settled, here’s what the Good Book says: ‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received (reaped) in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed (grew) great, and went forward (continued prospering), and grew until he became very great.’ (Gen.26:12-13)
 
Yes my people, in spite of Isaac’s deceit, the Lord blessed him very much because He had a sovereign purpose for him to fulfill, one he could only do from a position of power and wealth. Now please don’t take that as a reason for us to be deceitful. (smile) The Lord might not look down on us so kindly.
 
But be sure if wealth and power are required for us to do the work He’s planned for us, then wealth and power will be granted us, because He IS the ultimate source of ALL good things! I implore us to remember that today, and therefore live to suit. Much LOVE!
 
…constantly meditating on God’s Word…and being obedient to it…is of paramount importance in a believer’s life…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous…and then thou shalt have good success… (Josh.1:8)

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, today’s another red-letter day in the ole fella’s life; my 42nd wedding anniversary! Wow!
 
Who would ever have thought that we’d last so long eh, especially with all the topsy-turvy stuff that went on in the earlier days, most of it my fault? And though there have been a couple of short separations, it’s obvious that the Good Lord had other plans for us.
 
Now it wasn’t always easy, always peaches and cream, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it was interesting! More interesting now with 20-20-vision hindsight, than it felt during the actual moments. (smile)
 
That brings me to what I consider one of the many failings of our society. We impress upon our young people the fairy tale about LOVE, marriage and living happily ever after. But Friends, as most of us have seen and and sadly discovered, that’s just a myth!
 
We should be telling them more about the practicalities, the three-ring circus that’s truly marriage; the engagement ring, the wedding and then the suffering.
 
It’s no joke Friends, because living in such close proximity to another person, seeing their faults and foibles, many of which you never knew about before, and waking up everyday on the other side of the bed with that person for numerous years is not an easy task, certainly not one for the fainthearted. But if you’re in the marriage for more than just the good times, you will persevere and make it work.
 
And remember too, that it takes two to tango, so unless both parties are willing to work at it, then it will never last. But now, unfortunately, we’ve raised a generation of children who can’t handle hardships or differences, because even in our own marriages, we’ve gone out of our way to hide the unpleasant parts from the children.
 
Consequently, there are more divorces and separations than ever today, simply because the young generation lack the proper advice on the subject, as well as the necessary backbone and belly to see it through. So as soon as something goes wrong, everybody wants to bail out of the marriage.
 
But please remember the words that most of us said in our wedding vows; for better or worse, until death do us part. However we never seem to remember those words when things get rough, and very few of us really live them.
 
Unfortunately too, there is no marriage primer available that will work for all marriages, because we are all different and live under different circumstances. The only constant Friends, is that both people need to work at it sincerely, otherwise it’s doomed from the beginning.
 
Ah mih people, as usual I have to chuckle, because our God is truly something else yes! I wasn’t even planning to mention my wedding anniversary, but obviously He had other plans, and when I got to writing, that’s what flowed from my pen.
 
But if it will help some other couple to understand what marriage is all about; give and take and hard work, and cause them to stand strong and work out their problems together, then it will indeed have served some useful purpose.
 
That’s why our Bit is powerful and true. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
It would certainly be great if the Lord could use my words to bless some couple having problems with their marriage, which brings us to the Old Testament marriage of Isaac and Rebekah.
 
One time when there was famine in their land, Isaac thought of going down to Egypt to survive it, but the Lord told him to stay put in Gerar, in the land of the Philistines.
 
‘Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father…. Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.’ (Gen.26:3,5)
 
And Isaac obeyed, but like Abraham did with Sarah, he told the Philistines that Rebekah was his sister, because she was beautiful, and like his father before him, thought that they would kill him and take her away. Hn! Like father, like son!
 
Ah Friends, the webs we weave, when we intend to deceive! But unfortunately those webs of deceit don’t last forever, and our deeds done in darkness, usually come to light at some stage. And the longer they stay hidden, usually the more destructive they are when revealed in the light.
 
And that’s exactly what happened to Isaac. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘And it came to pass, when he (Isaac) had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with (caressing) Rebekah his wife.’ (Gen.26:9)
 
Obviously it caused a furor in the Philistine camp. The king called Isaac and blasted him, and instructed his people not to dally with Rebekah. (Gen.26:9-11) But in spite of his deception my brethren, listen to the next words of the Good Book.
 
‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received (reaped) in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed (grew) great, and went forward (continued prospering until) he became very great.’ (Gen.26:12-13)
 
That was the blessing of the Lord upon him for obeying his directive to not go down to Egypt, despite his deception with the Philistines.
 
Now Friends, that doesn’t mean we can all be deceitful and still receive wonderful blessings, for even Isaac with all his material blessings still found it hard to live in Gerar because of disputes over wells with the Philistines, and eventually had to move away because he had gotten too big and powerful for their liking. (Gen.26:14-25)
 
And we’ll end with these thoughts from the scholars, which should make some things clearer. ’26:1-16. A famine in the land: There had been a famine in Abraham’s day (12:10). He had not been forbidden to go down to Egypt as Isaac was now being directed by God in verse 2.
 
God forced Isaac to trust in His ability to provide, and not do the natural thing that everybody else would be doing (42:5). Besides, this was God’s promised land for Abraham and his descendants (vv 3-4). She is my sister is the very same expression Abraham had used, 12:13 and 20:12-13.
 
Abimelech was evidently a Philistine dynastic title. This was not the same Abimelech that Abraham had encountered some 97 years earlier. Isaac sowed in the land and received an hundredfold in spite of the famine and persecution because he obeyed God and was the promised seed.’ 
 
Awright Friends, that’s more than enough for us to ponder on today. But please remember that Isaac was only blessed because He obeyed God, and he still had his problems otherwise. So even when we’re blessed, everything is not always peaches and cream. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…the best wisdom for all time…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…  (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m tired of the snow and cold already! And that’s only the first big snowfall and cold spell of the year. I guess I’m tired mainly because I had to be out and about in it all.
 
But here this, the weather people are forecasting above freezing temps and rain for later this week! That discrepancy and uncertainty is what drives people crazy and also gets them sick, because they don’t know how to properly prepare for the weather in these changing times.
 
However Friends, I also have the answer, the antidote for it all; prayer!
 
And like Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) describes it in his devotional for yesterday: ‘Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully.’
 
And that’s a novel but absolutely true way to put it my people! When I read it yesterday, I just knew that I had to share it with you. And would you believe that I’ve been reading that devotional for a number of years now, and that idea did not even sound familiar when I read it yesterday.
 
Ah Lord eh! Makes you wonder what I’m thinking about when I read them. (smile) I guess though, that I wasn’t mature enough in Christ for it to make a notable impression on me, before yesterday. But who knows, since our God moves in such mysterious and unfathomable ways with His higher thoughts and methods.
 
Anyway, the important thing is that I’ve finally recognized it, so let’s turn to our Bit. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
More undeniable truth my brethren! For when our God blesses us, we know that we are blessed, and He doesn’t include any sorrow in it. Now maybe the sorrow will come before, or even after the blessing, (smile) but the blessings are usually blessings alone.
 
And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday, with Abraham’s servant being sent to his master’s home country, Mesopotamia, to find a wife for Isaac from his brethren. And Friends, it’s not by luck or chance, but rather by divine decree and guidance, that Abraham’s servant ended up in the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother dwelt.
 
Neither was it luck or chance, but divine appointment, that caused Rebekah to come out and fulfill all the conditions that the servant had desired of the Lord in prayer.
 
Oh mih people, yuh see the wonderful and inescapable truth of what we’ve been saying above, about prayer being the lifeline, the umbilical cord to God! The servant prayed faithfully, setting some parameters, and asking the Lord to send someone favourable to fulfill them.
 
And I like how the Good Book says that before he was even finished making his requests known to God, that Rebekah showed up. (Gen.24:15a) Oh my brethren, we can’t ask for a better example than that of faithful and fulfilled prayer!
 
And if you read what transpired afterwards, as I asked you to do yesterday, (Gen.24:16-25), you’d have seen Rebekah offer the servant drink, as well as offer to quench his camels thirst. And when she’d fulfilled her pledge, he gave her an expensive gold nose ring, weighing half a shekel, approximately $960.00, since a shekel of gold is worth around $1920.00. To that he added 2 gold bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight. Do the math my people.
 
And after he enquired about her family, she then ran home and told her family about the strange happening that had befallen her. That brought her big brother Laban out to meet the servant. And to make a long story short, (smile) they invited him to lodge with them. He graciously accepted the offer, and after the camels were looked after, they set food before him, but he refused to eat before he divulged his purpose. (Gen.24:28-33)
 
‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
What I want us to note here my fellow believers, is the difference in blessings. In the first scenario, the Lord showed the servant favour by granting his prayerful request, while in the second, He gave Abraham material wealth.
 
So not because our Bit says that the blessings of our God make us rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth. The blessings of our great and wonderful God can come in all shapes, sizes and forms, whatever suits His purpose. His omnipotence and LOVING-kindness don’t limit Him to any one kind of blessing.
 
And that’s something all believers ought to fully understand. Not because we pray for material wealth or any other kind of blessing means that we’ll automatically receive it. We’ll be showered with whatever fits the needs of God’s plan for our lives.
 
And until we fully understand and appreciate that point, we’ll always feel disappointed and/or hard done by our God. But we need to remember that God’s not there to simply do our bidding, to serve our selfish and petty requests.
 
On the contrary, we are here to serve His desires; to LOVE Him, to LIVE out our Faith, and to SPREAD His Holy Word! At times though, we seem to forget that HE is the MASTER, and we are the SERVANTS, not vice versa! 
 
And on that oh so important remembrance, we’ll close for today. I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, (smile) just enough to keep us focused in the right direction – on Jesus Christ, our ever-LOVING Lord and Saviour. Much much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…this Christmas season…let’s show the world what true LOVE is all about nuh…by keeping Jesus first and foremost…in our hearts, minds, souls and actions…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, on this Monday morning in mid December, cold and snowy in my area, I want us to remember one outstanding thing about our situations on this earthly pilgrimage; that as believers in Jesus Christ, WE ARE TRULY BLESSED! 
 
Yes my people, like the song says; ‘Oh we, we are blessed. Let’s tell the world that we, we are blessed!’ (my version)
 
And that’s exactly what Jesus would have us do my brethren! And not only tell them, but even better yet, show them by our gratitude to God, our actions of care, kindness and LOVE for each other, being living examples of His true LOVE for us!
 
So no matter how our situations look this morning, whether we’re shaking it rough or not, let’s remember that it’s only because we are truly blessed that we can sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in faith, and have it eventually reflected in our spirits.
 
So with that in mind, let’s sing that awesome hymn of prayer and praise to get us ready to face the outside world in this new workweek. All together now in one melodious voice.
 
‘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 mih breddren, reading that prayer always brings a chuckle to my spirit, as well as a sense of awe and gratitude.
 
Why? Because I don’t even remember the how, where, when and why of writing it. But I do know that I was indeed blessed, and had plenty of God’s help and guidance to write it, for I certainly could not have done it all in my own strength.
 
That’s why I keep preaching…oh no, not preaching…but what…possibly exhorting…because I’m much more an exhorter, an encourager, than a preacher.
 
So yes, that’s why I keep exhorting and encouraging us to turn to our Heavenly Creator first, and ask for guidance, before we embark on any task whatsoever!
 
Though sometimes that might seem foolish and counter-productive in the eyes of the world, yet through the eyes of faith in Jesus Christ, that move is ALWAYS PRODUCTIVE, since our God WILL NEVER lead us astray, if we come to Him in true gratitude and a sincere, searching heart. 
 
That’s why Cousin Sol tells us in our Bit today: ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
And that’s one of the many valuable truths contained in the Good Book my people!
 
Now we only have time and space left for two corroborative scriptures, and both come from the Old Testament. The first relates to Abraham, when he sent his servant to his homeland to seek a wife for his son Isaac. And what happened?
 
The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels loaded with goods, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother lived.
 
‘And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed (give me success) this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.
 
Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.’ (Gen.24:11-14)
 
Oh Friends that servant was truly smart and faithful! Wish more of us could be so inclined. (smile) For the Lord heard, and responded with favour and blessing.
 
‘And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.’ (Gen.24:15)
 
And she did all that the servant had prayed to the Lord for. (Gen.24:16-25) Please read it my people, either to familiarize yourself with it, or to refresh your memory.
 
‘And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute (forsaken) my master of his mercy (LOVING-kindness) and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’ (Gen.24:26-27)
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord, for His undeserving kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, the Lord works with us when we work with Him.
 
Hn, hn! But apparently I wasn’t working with Him when I said that we had time for two examples of scripture, (smile) because we only have time for one. So tomorrow, God willing, we’ll continue with this topic.
 
Till then, may the Lord bless and keep us safe under His mighty umbrella of LOVE and safety, give us His wonderful peace, and cause us to live faithfully for Him. Much LOVE!
 
…be careful (anxious) for nothing…but in every thing… by prayer and supplication…with thanksgiving…let your requests be made known unto God… (Phil.4:6)
 
P.S. Oh Friends, it’s Monday, so it must be a bit long. (smile)