Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2014 Luke 9:56

Luke 9:56.    For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
 

Aye Friends, it’s Wednesday morning! That means we’re halfway home to two big days of freedom! And this is the most important part of the week, the time when we need to show strong discipline and self-control, or as the old folks would say, ‘stick-to-itive-ness.’ (smile) That’s hanging in there, not giving up, even though it’s so easy to let go and quit.

 
This is the time when it often seems so dark and dreary and impossible. But as we all know, it’s darkest just before the dawn, just before daylight, before the sun appears over the horizon. It’s only a couple more days to freedom my brethren, so please hold on and don’t let go, don’t dare to look back and sigh and wonder what if.
 
Remember what happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back as they were fleeing the fire and brimstone that was engulfing Sodom? Despite warnings, she looked back and immediately turned into a pillar of salt. (Gen.19:26)
 
Remember too, Jesus’ words to the man who wanted to go and bid his family farewell before following Him. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62)
 
Yes Friends, no one who gives things of little importance higher priority than God’s work is of much use to Him. So just hang on in there this Wednesday morning, put your best foot forward, your nose to the grindstone and move forward with Jesus ever by your side, as Guide and Leader, Lord and Saviour.
 
This brings us to some fateful words of Jesus, including our Bit. ‘But he turned and rebuked them and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56)
 
This happened when Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to fulfill His purpose in coming to earth. He sent some messengers into a Samaritan village to make ready, to make preparations for the large group that was travelling with Him.
 
As befitted His status, Jesus had a fairly large entourage by the standards of those days. However, they weren’t well received in that village because it looked like they were only being used as a stop-gap measure, as Jerusalem seemed to be their final destination. (Luke 9:52-53)
 
And since the Jews and Samaritans were always at loggerheads, it’s only logical to expect the latter not to welcome or favourably receive those bound for Jerusalem.
 
And it’s certainly amazing to hear the disciples’ response to their lack of welcome. ‘And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did?’ (Luke 9:54) James and John were certainly hot to trot!
 
And as the scholars tell us: ‘9:54. See 2 Kings 1:10-12 (for Elijah’s story). Peter is not the only disciple to make rash judgements. Retaliation in the face of rejection goes far beyond Jesus’ order in 9:5.’
 
And Luke 9:5 says: ‘And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.’ And it’s useful to note here that Jesus meant rejection by whole cities, not merely isolated individuals.
 
Anyway, that’s when Jesus spoke the words of our Bit to the disciples. And several times during His earthly ministry He made that point; that He had come to save, not to destroy. Let’s look at a few of them.
 
The first one is when He had lunch with Zaccheus, the chief tax collector. And when Zaccheus pledged to refund his ill-gotten gains, (Luke 19:8) Jesus said to him. ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10)
 
There again my people, Jesus emphasizes His purpose as to seek and save the lost, not to destroy.
 
Then in John 3, Jesus delivers these beautiful, encouraging and uplifting words. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)
 
And again Friends, Jesus places more emphasis on saving rather than condemnation.
 
And our final words from Jesus on the subject, takes place when some of the Jewish rulers believed in Him, but were afraid of making their feelings public because they feared the wrath of the Pharisees, of being kicked out of the synagogue. As the Good Book says: ‘For they LOVED the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ (John 12:43)
 
And that’s still ever so true of too many of us today my people! We prefer to offend God, rather than man.
 
Anyway, as part of Jesus reaction to those people, He said, ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.’ (John 12:47-48)
 
Yes my brethren, our Lord and Saviour is not a destroyer like Lucifer, but a saviour as His title aptly proclaims.
 
So please let’s stop being afraid, stop being anxious and guilt stricken when we make mistakes, or come up less than we should, because that’s the kind of people Jesus came to save, not the perfect ones, but the sick and suffering, the lost and abandoned, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. Much LOVE!
 
…in need of help…then turn to the one who specializes in helping…Jesus Christ…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2014 Isaiah 9:16

Isaiah 9:16.   For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
 
Ah Friends, it was a shock; physical, emotional and mental shock, at having to get dressed in several layers of clothing last evening to go out in the minus 12 Celsius temperature, get in a cold car and drive around salt encrusted streets bordered by high snow banks, with my windows tightly closed to keep out the bone-chilling cold.
 
And just consider that some 24 or 30 hours before, I was running around half-naked, in the bright and hot sunshine, getting into cars that were steaming hot, hurrying to open the windows to let some cool air in. Hn! No wonder I was in a state of shock! (smile)
 
But that’s the reality of life, and we just have to hope and pray in faith that the Lord will enable us to bear anything that comes against us, as He has so faithfully promised. And that doesn’t pertain to just the weather, but to all walks and aspects of our earthly lives. Yes my people, we have to be very careful and cognisant of all that’s happening around us these days, for life’s not as innocent and carefree as it used to be.
 
As our Bit so wisely draws to our attention: ‘ For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.’ And many of us will recognize that as indisputable truth in these rough, evil and trying times.
 
Ah mih people, our leaders are failing us terribly; catering to the rich and powerful, as well as lining their own pockets, while oppressing the poor and needy, and above all, taking God out of our societies. That’s why our world is so fragile and in so much turmoil.
 
But as Isaiah continues after our Bit: ‘Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly (foolishness). For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (in judgement).’ (Is.9:17)
 
Yeh Friends, the Lord’s wrath is still in place, still stretched out to punish us. And it will remain there until we repent of our evil ways and turn back to truly serving and worshipping Him.
 
As the scholars say of that last verse. ‘The leaders are specifically condemned for misleading the people. Isaiah’s words here are reminiscent of his message in chapter 3.
 
And this is what he says there, re the judgement of Judah. ‘For Jerusalem is ruined (has stumbled), and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of (rebel against) his glory. The show of their countenance (look on their faces) doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded (brought) evil unto themselves.’ (Is.3:8-9)
 
Oh Friends, doesn’t that sound just like our current society? It surely does!
 
But Isaiah continues to give the Lord’s message. ‘Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given (done to him).’ (Is.3:11-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, per God’s faithful promise, the righteous will be saved, but the wicked shall receive their just reward of destruction, for our God is a God of absolute and perfect justice!
 
And we’ll end with the verse following those above. ‘As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err (lead thee astray), and destroy the way of thy paths.’ (Is.3:12) And those words are living truth my brethren!
 
For as the scholars explain it: ‘Children are their oppressors, and women rule over them indicates the utter failure of male leadership in their society.’
 
Oh Friends, the failure of male run societies has been an ongoing tragedy from the beginning of time, and ours today is certainly no different! But as serious believers in Jesus Christ, we have to stand steadfast and strong and try to improve the wrong that’s constantly and cruelly being done. That’s the task Jesus allotted to His followers.
 
It’s not easy, but if we persist and persevere, and resist the advances of the evildoers around us, while standing steadfastly on God’s promises to always help us and never leave or forsake us, we will be able to successfully battle the disgraceful leaders of today. That includes voting in all elections, and even more importantly, putting righteous people in office.
 
But my brethren, in order to do all that, we also have to be unified under the banner of Christ’s church. For until we begin coming together, instead of drifting further apart, nothing much will change for the better, but just get worse. I guess to a certain extent our problem is fear of human repercussions. But which do you think is worse, or which do you fear most; the wrath of man, or the wrath of God?
 
I’ll leave us to ponder that question. And when you’ve come to a conclusion, please act seriously on it. And a good guide is to remember that from day one, the Lord has built His universe on the irrefutable and wise principle of whatever you sow, that’s exactly what you will reap. So please be careful of the seeds you sow, for they will either come back to harm or help you. Much LOVE!
 
…you can’t sow corn and reap peas…or sow destruction and reap prosperity…neither war and reap peace…or hate and harvest LOVE…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2013 Deuteronomy 5:32

Deuteronomy 5:32.    Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

Oh Friends, sorry this is somewhat late. I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year’s Eve, but right now my spirit is somewhat angered. I’ve been using a free avast security system on my desktop computer for a while now, just simple net surfing stuff, and I never really had a problem with them. However, they’ve been bugging me to buy their advanced system, so since I’d been using their protection for free and it wasn’t bad, I decided to do the right thing and purchase their system.

 
Lo and behold this morning when I came down to write the Bit, I decided to finally download the new avast system. Hn! What a mistake! It seems to have downloaded the system properly, but then said it need to close so everything could take effect. So I agreed to do it then. But upon rebooting I could not get back into Internet Explorer, which I use. I tried several times, but with no luck.
 
Then I tried logging in with Firefox, and was successful. However I don’t like the other servers. That’s just me. (smile) Then when I tried to contact avast, I got the usual run around, with oodles of screens to fill out questions, to which I’ve had no reply, except acknowledgement of my query.
 
Then when I got on to my laptop, which I’m on now, I got on to Internet Explorer without a problem, so I decided to check the site showing on my desk top, only to find that the avast system was blocking Internet Explorer from opening up. So the long and short of the story is that I’m on the verge of cancelling the avast system. 
 
Ah Lord eh! Yuh see why I don’t like computers and all the nonsense they entail! And they never seem to cause problems until you need them most. Steups! And that’s my rant for the day. (smile) 
 
Now dear Lord, please free up the ole fella’s mind, take away the anger and all the negative emotions, so that I can write a Bit worthy of You. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
 
So what’s new and exciting in your lives this New Year’s Eve morning, my fellow believers? (smile) I surely hope it’s better than mine, for who needs the unnecessary headaches eh? Life is already filled with enough necessary ones. Many of you will no doubt be ringing in the new year at some party or other, but please remember Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.
 
And we all know that this is a time when Beelzebub is at his deceitful and lying best. So let’s not begin the new year off on the wrong foot, getting trapped by him and his evil cohorts.
 
As for me, I’m going to be doing my usual stay at home thing, spending it with my family. Going out in all the cold weather isn’t appealing anymore, and then you have to be careful with the cops and the drunk drivers on the road. Plus it’s supposed to snow in my area today. Who needs the headache eh, when I can enjoy it just as much at home?
 
Anyway, let’s finally get to our Bit. Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’
 
Ah mih people, we couldn’t have a better Bit to ring in 2014! Why, you ask? Because it brings, and hopefully keeps our focus on Almighty God, whom we claim to so faithfully believe in. Unfortunately though, too many of our actions dispute that claim. And remember that actions do speak louder than words.
 
Just look at our world, at the church, the body of Christ nuh. We certainly can’t say that we’re living up to our Bit, to God’s Word, to our promise to faithfully serve and worship Him? Evil and ungodliness are so rampant all over, even in the church, that it would be difficult, like when Abraham interceded with God to save Sodom, (Gen.18:22-32) to find enough righteous people to save our world.
 
However Friends, we’re indeed fortunate to have a God who gives second chances, and while we’re alive it means that there’s still hope for us. But for that to happen my people, we have to have a serious return to the dictates of Christianity; faithfully LOVING our wonderful God, ourselves and our neighbours.
 
We desperately need to do as the Lord instructed Joshua when he took over the leadership mantle from Moses. ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper (have success) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, it doesn’t get any simpler or plainer than that! And if like some, you believe that’s Old Testament stuff, then listen to Jesus saying the same thing.
 
‘Therefore take no thought (don‘t worry), saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.‘ (Matt.6:31-32)
 
There we have it Friends, the New Testament version, of doing what the Lord commands, then all your needs will be met! And isn’t our God a great God? I couldn’t have chosen a better ending for this last Bit of this topsy-turvy, often disastrous and calamitous year of 2013.
 
Please my people, please let’s make 2014 a much better year in seeking God and His righteousness that we did 2013 nuh. Remember it’s all for our benefit, especially our children. There’s nothing the Lord wants from us except our sincereLOVE and reverence, but we need oh so much from Him; His mercy, His tenderness, His forgiveness, His LOVING-kindness, etc.etc.
 
So let’s be wise this new year and return to Him with a new found sincerity. That’s truly wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!
 

…there’s only one New Year’s resolution that’s necessary…to develop a closer and more intimate walk with Jesus…for then…as promised… everything else will be taken care of…

  
  











       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.

And wonder of wonders – it’s Friday! ‘Yeah! TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ come the joyous shouts. It’s the shortest workweek we’ve had for a while, since most of us had both Christmas and Boxing Days off. And some of us were even lucky enough to finagle Friday off too. (smile)
 
In any case, I think we deserve some time off because we’ve worked so hard during the earlier part of the year. However, as always, we need to utilize our time properly, get our priorities straight, so that we don’t fall prey to the artful and deceitful traps of the arch deceiver, Lucifer, who’s always looking for a way into our lives.
 
So to help us get the right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant. With one sincere and heartfelt voice 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 people, especially in these heady days of celebrating Christ’s birth, we need to be continually on the lookout, to be on our p’s and q’s for anything that will give the enemy even a tiny foothold in our lives, for that’s all he needs to start worming his evil way into the marrow of our souls, and disfiguring the beautiful picture of Jesus we have painted there. So let’s enjoy ourselves, but remember that drunk or sober, we must mind our business.
 
And with that age-old warning, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, hopefully the last day for it. (smile) ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
Oh mih breddren, I can’t get over how good and wonderful our God is to us nuh! Check this out. Earlier on in the week, I was wondering what Bit I would use for Christmas Day, since it’s the same basic stuff everybody uses and everybody knows. I wanted something different.
 
And lo and behold, a couple days before Christmas Day, the Lord led me to this scripture, with it lasting for several days, and most importantly having the king and saving aspect of it for His special day.
 
Wow! How can I not LOVE and worship Him eh? For He always meets my needs, lifts me out of any dark hole in which I’ve fallen, either literally or figuratively! Ah Friends, it’s so great to trust in the ONE TRUE GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But let’s get back to our Bit, before I get more sentimental and get carried away. (smile)
 
And finally, today we’re going to look at the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our great and wonderful God. And the first scripture comes from Isaiah, re the call to repentance to the sinful, rebellious, backsliding nation of Judah. ‘Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.’ (Is.1:10)
 
Yes Friends, the people of Judah were behaving like those of Sodom and Gomorrah. The notes of the scholars’ will further explain the situation.
 
‘1:10-15. The prophet addressed the people of Judah as if they were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. His criticism of their hypocritical religion should not be taken as a rejection of the divinely ordained sacrificial system. Rather, it is a condemnation of their superficial worship. (See the note on 1 Sam.15:22-23) They were merely going through the ritual of religion, with no real heart for God.’
 
And 1 Sam.15:22:23, is where Samuel is lecturing Saul for his disobedience, and talking about ‘to obey is better than sacrifice.’ The scholars’ note says: ’15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old Testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless. (cf. Ps.40:6-8; Is.1:10-20; Mic.6:8).’
 
Unfortunately though Friends, we’re seeing the very same thing happening today, possibly to an even more disturbing degree. Evil has really gotten out of hand; it controls the world, with nobody, or no bodies strong and willing enough to rein it in.
 
But my fellow believers, that’s a big part of our job! As the church, the body of Christ here on earth, we are supposed to exemplify righteousness. But sadly, too many of us are either too afraid and/or cowardly to stand up against the evildoers, or we’re simply joining with them because we too delight in doing evil.
 
However my brethren, let’s remember that there’s always a price to be paid for evil doing; a substantial one too. Listen as our ever-faithful God, through His faithful prophet Isaiah, calls the faithful to courage.
 
‘Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed (go forth) from me, and I will make my judgement (justice) to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles (coastlands) shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
 
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken).’ (Is.51:4-6)
 
Oh Friends, on those indisputably true and very serious words of our Creator, we’ll end today!
 
Please, please, let’s ponder them, let’s consider how they fit into our individual lives, and then, with the Father’s help, let’s make whatever adjustments are necessary for us to fall in line with them. For that is wisdom of the greatest magnitude! Much LOVE!
 
…to whom shall we look for righteousness… but to Him who created us…and gave us the law…
 
             
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2013 Genesis 15:1.

Genesis 15:1.   After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
 
Once more it’s Friday Friends, and we’re all singing, ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ gearing up for a joyous weekend. But let’s all be careful that we don’t get too carried away with the joyfulness and cross the border line, where it turns to sin, for that’s very easy to do when we don’t have a good handle on our thoughts and our behaviour.
 
So to help us have some moderation and keep our eyes on Jesus, let’s chant our Friday Chant. As one harmonious voice 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.’
 
Yeh mih people, in this evil, ungodly world, we need to be on our p’s and q’s at all times. And interestingly enough, I came across a rather appropriate quote this morning, attributed to one Daniel W. Josselyn, which says: ‘Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair.’
 
And that’s a fact Friends! Rest doesn’t just, or always, mean doing nothing, but sometimes simply doing other things that will repair and rejuvenate our spirits and bodies. What’s the saying? ‘A change is as good as a rest,’ or something to that effect. So when we hear the word rest, let’s not always jump to the conclusion that it’s time to laze around and do nothing. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at our Bit. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’
 
Some of the things the Good Book’s talking about here are: Abram being driven down to Egypt because of famine in Canaan. Of deceiving Pharaoh by saying that Sarai was his sister, and the Lord opening Pharaoh’s eyes to the truth, before he could touch her. Pharaoh sending Abram away, back to Canaan, where he and Lot separate. Lot goes to live in Sodom, and as we saw yesterday, the Lord promises Abram the land as far as he could see. (Gen.13:14-18)
 
Then certain kings come to fight against Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot and his people are carried away captive. When Abram hears of this, he and 318 of his fighting men pursue the captors, rescue Lot and return all the spoil to Sodom and Gomorrah.
 
Then he comes upon Melchizedek, king of Salem, ‘the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.’ (Gen.14:18b-20)
 
Abram later refused the offerings, rewards of the ungodly king of Sodom, just food for his men. ‘I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich.’ (Gen.14:23b) That’s a good attitude for us to adopt my brethren, when we are approached by evildoers to participate in their evil doings, or the spoils of their evil doings.
 
So we can see that Abram lived a very full and interesting later period of life. A time when most of us figure we should just retire from active life and do nothing. But the fact is when we completely retire from life, we die, both literally and figuratively.
 
Anyway, let’s hear these words from the scholars re our Bit, before we move on to some scriptures. ’15:1. Thy shield and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.”
 
Thus God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God himself would be Abram’s true reward. (c.f. Ps.127:3)’
 
Oh Friends, I don’t know if I’m spoiling you, (smile) but here’s what that scripture says: ‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ (Ps. 127:3)
 
It shows the value of relying on God, especially for children, which Abram did, as these passages of scripture show, after God spoke to him in our Bit. ‘And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward (heir) of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
 
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one (a servant) born in my house is mine heir. And behold the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 
 
And he brought him forth abroad (outside), and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell (count) the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.’ (Gen. 15:2-6) 
 
Yes my brethren, it’s all a matter of belief! And belief leads to obedience, and obedience to righteousness and rewards. And as the scholars so rightly point out: ‘This was not his (Abram’s) original act of faith, but a further evidence of his confidence in God.’
 
So please, my fellow believers, let’s listen closely to what God is saying to us today, what He’s promising us, if we believe and obey Him, for that’s wisdom at its highest height. Much LOVE!
 
…behold…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)