Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.   I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

And the pace picks up, as the days dwindle down to the all-important Christmas Day! Please remember though friends, that it’s not about the world’s confusion and commercialism, but strictly about Jesus; His coming to earth in human form so that He could save said humans who mocked and crucified Him! 

And the sad part is that too many of us supposed believers tend to forget that scenario and just morph into the world system. And we do need to be reminded of the season’s purpose as it get’s easier to join the enemy’s ranks with the constant hoopla of ‘Happy Holidays,’ and not ‘Happy Christmas! So consider yourselves reminded. (smile) 

Now today I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin which so vividly shows what happens to us when we get caught up in the world system. It’s titled ‘Reversal.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘I said, Lord, look at me Just look at me All of life upside down – Tangled emotions smeared with fear Guilt Despair Disgust A prisoner of myself. The hopeless thing is that It’s all decided. I’m defenceless At the end of my rope Locked in And I’ve tried, Lord Tried desperately. 

But how does one see without eyes Or walk without feet? How, Lord? You said, Come unto me. You need not cringe Nor climb Nor compete Nor change Come even without feeling Without tokens Without merit or hope But come. Come now. I came And all of life Turned right side up.’ 

Wow friends! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve and worship! Yuh see, even when we allow the things of the world to get us tied up in knots; alone, depressed and fearful, we can go to our heavenly Father for succour…and just as we are too, hurting and lonely and lost. 

We don’t have to change before going to Him. He wants us to come just as we are, right then and there, and He will effect whatever changes are necessary, since we can’t do them for ourselves. 

So, this Christmas season, when so many of us get caught up in the topsy-turvy of the world system, let’s remember those very meaningful words nuh…’Come unto me…Come now…’ And with heavenly wisdom, let’s run into His fatherly embrace and receive the LOVE and the healing we need. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is our Bit, taken from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. It boldly declares the joyful proclamation of the psalmist: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

Yes my people, that is indeed the way it is! In times of distress and calamity, when we call upon the Lord with a sincere and humble heart, He will hear us and relieve the pressure upon our human souls. That’s His promise! And we know that He’s NEVER, and WILL NEVER, renege on any of His promises, because He is faithful that promised. 

But WE HAVE to first go to Him with our problems in all sincerity and truth. Note, He said, ‘Come. Come just as you are…’ So the onus is on us to make the first move, otherwise we’ll just stay there stewing in the pot of affliction that we created for ourselves. 

Now listen as Bruh David celebrates the Lord’s goodness from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance – after he had been delivered from the hands of his enemies, especially Saul. ‘The sorrows (pangs) of death compassed (encompassed) me, and the floods of ungodly men (ungodliness) made me afraid. 

The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (confronted) me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of (from) his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears.’ (Ps.18:4-6) 

Yeh friends, our God is the best help in time of trouble! And if you’re wondering what happened after Bruh David cried out to the Lord, the Lord was angry and stirred up the world in Bruh David’s favour (vs.7-17) 

Then finally: ‘They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support).  He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:18-21) 

And therein lies the secret my brethren; not following the world system and departing from serving the Lord God Jehovah! If we stay faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and lift us up in time of calamity. Please remember that. 

Now let’s go home proudly declaring to the world who and whose we are, through our Tuesday Mantra. All together 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!’ 

Glory be, mih people! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus that we just finished talking about, and try to make the world a better place. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more fulfilling and heartwarming…than sharing the LOVE of Jesus…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Well friends, Daylight Savings Time has ended. Steups! And it’s still a debatable question as to whom it helps, if anybody. However, the night shift will work an hour longer, and the day shift will get an hour more sleep…then a lot of people’s body clocks will be screwed up. 

Anyway, the good news is that it’s Sunday; the Lord’s Day, time for worship and gathering in fellowship, to hear His word, rejoice with each other and go home overjoyed and full of faith, strength and confidence to face whatever comes against us. Oh how special are our Sunday worship sessions! 

So let’s throw it into gear nuh, as we sing this awe inspiring hymn, ‘God is our refuge and our strength,’ which describes the omnipotence of our Maker and our God. With loud voice, in perfect harmony, sincerity and truth, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise to heaven and let our heavenly Father know how much we truly appreciate Him. 

‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present aid, and, therefore, though the earth be moved, we will not be afraid, though hills amid the seas be cast, though waters roaring make, and troubled be, yea though the hills by swelling seas do shake. A river’s there, whose streams make glad the city of our God, the holy place, where God Most High hath made a strong abode. 

For God our refuge dwelleth there; that city shall not move. God is its strength when morning dawns, and will its helper prove. The Lord of Hosts is on our side, our safety to maintain; the God of Jacob doth for us a refuge high remain.’ 

And is that last sentence ever so true my fellow believers! Almighty God is definitely on our side, looking after our safety and being a safe place of refuge for us in time of need. Glory Hallelujah! What more can we ask eh? Not a whole lot. And the song we just sang was based on Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength, from which our Bit is taken. 

The sons of Korah, who possibly wrote it and sang it back in olden times, were in absolutely no doubt as to where their help lay: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And neither should we doubt my faithful brethren. We are the children of the Most High God to whom we can run for succour and reassurance at any time, day or night. 

No other faith has that privilege! Why? Because our God is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD! All others, be they dead or alive, are mere idols, figments of their believers imaginations.  NONE of them can do what our God can, or has the awesome power that He has. End of story! 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 62. ‘My soul wait (silently) thou only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

And who should know better than Bruh David eh, with the drama filled life he lived? Who, despite his iniquity was still considered a man after God’s own heart! And knowing that we won’t always walk perfectly in God’s will or be obedient to His dictates, Bruh David’s story should give us great assurance and encouragement my brethren. 

Consequently we should not be afraid to surrender our lives to God, to place our sincere trust in His mighty and capable hands, especially since He has also blessed us with His unconditional LOVE, by giving us His ONE Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and His Holy Spirit as our Guide and Comforter.  

As the old people would say; ‘we living life in London!’ (smile) That simply means we’re living a good life. No doubt about it, precious people of Christ! Yes friends, when we’re living with and for Christ, our lives are so enriched and we’re so confident that we can adhere to the admonition from the author of Hebrews without too many problems. 

‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be ye content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb.13:5-6) 

Ah mih people, with such a powerful and dynamic God, who also faithfully keeps His promises, why should we be afraid of mankind eh? If we should be afraid of anybody, it’s God, who has the power to do whatever He wants with us. And we’ll end with this li’l power play that the Lord put down on Israel during one of their disobedient times, as related by the prophet Hosea. 

‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king (where is thy king): where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.19:9-11) 

Yuh see who is the real power, friends? Almighty God! So let’s be wise this Sunday nuh…to whom is honour and glory due… and just praise and worship Him in all His glory; exalt His Holy Name, give Him His just desserts, and let Him be our help and refuge in these abnormal times of strife and evil. That’s wisdom at its highest level. Much LOVE!

…to whom is honour and glory due…fear and reverence…obedience and worship…Almighty God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2017 John 14:16.

John 14:16.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

Arise my brethren, it is the Lord’s Day, and we must be trekking to His sanctuary to engage in blissful fellowship with other believers. What a time it will be, with joyful songs of praise and worship, the reading of God’s word, which enlivens our spirit, and words of encouragement and prayer for and with each other. 

But notwithstanding all of that, these are indeed disastrous times in our world, and we need extra comfort from our faith, thus we’ll open this morning with the old hymn ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’ that fits the bill. The song was written in 1932 by Thomas A Dorsey, a black man from Chicago after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. 

So please friends, and fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we seek comfort from our comforting God. In rich and soulful harmony now, as we feel it down in our very beings. ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand, I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone; Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)’ 

Oh my brethren, there is NONE other than Almighty God who can satisfy that need for reassurance and comfort in our hurting souls! That’s why we need to call out to Him first when terrible times overcome us, for He is our indispensable Healer and Comforter. Listen as Jesus offers assurance to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! He knew that He had to go away and that the disciples would be left in the lurch without Him around.  So He made arrangements with the Father to send them another Comforter, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that would dwell within them forever. And he continues: ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:17) 

And the scholars tell us: ’14:17. The Spirit…shall be in you: The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique, since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent (dwelleth, that is “takes up residence”). See verse 23.’  

And we all know that the Holy Spirit made that magnificent appearance to all believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem until the new Comforter came, because they would not have had the parts to go out and do what He required of them. The Good Book describes that momentous event thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose, mind) in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Ah mih friends, our God doesn’t too things in half measures! When He decides to put on a show, He puts on a big one, with all the bells and whistles, not a little Mickey-Mouse event! (smile) But Jesus’ most touching words to me, were the ones He spoke after promising to send the Holy Spirit. ‘I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:18) 

What care and compassion Jesus shows for those distraught men who had given up everything they had to follow Him, thinking that He would be setting up a new kingdom at that time, only to later learn that He would be killed and then He would go away and leave them…but not alone. That’s not Jesus’ style friends. Once you come to Him, He will ALWAYS be with you: ‘for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb:13:5) 

Oh my people, in ending, all I can says is that the best place to find comfort and compassion in times of sorrow, is in the ever-open and ever-LOVING arms of Jesus. He has already offered the great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)  

Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that. But please remember, YOU have to make a serious decision to go to Him to find succour. It won’t just fall in your lap. Much LOVE!

…on a comfort scale of 1-10…Jesus is 11 plus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2017 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.   Search me,  O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s wonderful universe, my Scrip-Bit family and friends! The day is indeed unfurling as it should, as our omnipotent God planned it. But I beg to wonder why our temperature today is supposed to go up to around ten degrees Celsius, from a low of around minus 7, or thereabouts, and then fall back to below freezing temps by Sunday night?  They say it’s climate change. 

Ah Lord eh! That’s why so many people get sick in these volatile temperature changes! Today a whole lot of people will be out in shirt sleeves, declaring what beautiful spring-like weather it is. Then they’ll get caught without proper protection from the elements later on. But that’s the nature of the beast in these parts. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week. Remember, his aspiration is to inspire us with his thoughtful words.  The first one says: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that’s quite true! 

But there are sensible risks and not so sensible ones. So we still have to consider whether the risks are worthwhile or not. It’s brave to go out on limb that seems able to stand your weight, but foolish to go out on one that is obviously too small. The same goes for risks. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.’ That’s also true, but then again how far outside of your comfort zone do you want to go, or is it wise for you to go? It’s all a matter of your comfort level. 

And this next one declares: ‘The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.’ More truth friends! You know how we always like to say marvelous things, then affix them with ‘a but.’ That’s the bane of our modern day language; everything, everything – but.  

And the last one tells us. ‘No one rises to low expectations.’ Yes my people, we cannot rise high unless our expectations are high. That’s just the normal workings of the universe. And our Christian faith expects us to keep on rising higher and higher, making excellence the watchword of our earthly walk with Jesus.  For if we do not aspire to excellence, the church will simply become stagnant and eventually fall apart. 

And I believe that is what’s happening right now. Christ’s church, His earthly body is not growing as it should, for numerous reasons. But we’re not here to talk about that today, we’re here to discuss the motives of our heart, of our spiritual being, as expressed by Bruh David in his grand Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

He boldly, but contritely states in the last two verses – the first one our Bit. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 39:23-24)  

Ah mih people, the overriding question now is, whether we as Christians, are willing, and or able to declare such a brave statement to our Maker? The truth of the matter is that we ought to be. We ought to be so open and be so close to our God, that we shouldn’t fear to go to Him in any situation at all, even though we know we are on the wrong side of the fence. 

For as the author of Hebrews reminds us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) 

And I like the explanation the scholars put forward. ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’  

Yeh friends, only our wonderful faith exhibits such a confidence in being able to go to God in any and every circumstance. He welcomes us, invites us in the Great Invitation (Matt.11:28-30) to come to Him when we‘re tired and weary and beset by life’s circumstances, and He will give us rest. 

No other faith offers such succour my brethren. So I don’t understand why so many of us are afraid to bare our hearts to the Lord. Remember though that’s He’s our Creator, and already knows what’s happening with us, even more than we know. He knows and sees the beginning to the end. 

Consequently friends, please let’s stop trying to hide our innermost secrets and fears from Him, because it’s foolish to do so. He wants us to come to Him and let it all out, to show that you truly believe in and trust Him.  

Yuh notice how Bruh David went to God without fear on everything – even eventually His adultery with Bathsheba and His murder of Uriah, her husband, after the prophet Nathan berated him about it. 

Now we won’t always get away scotch free with our wicked deeds – Bruh David paid a hefty price with strife in his house – but we’ll always get forgiveness and mercy if we sincerely repent of them. That’s wisdom for the ages my people. Please ponder on that today. Much LOVE!

…fear should never override faith…especially in dealing with God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, it’s Monday, the last day of October 2016, time to get a move on, time to rock and roll! (smile) The battle has already been joined and we need to be there to help our fellow soldiers in the army of Christ. The army of the evil one is already fighting tooth and nail, and without our help our brothers and sisters already on the front line will suffer innumerable loss. 

And as always, we have the antidote for our lethargy and complacency, our lack of energy and enthusiasm, our complaining and self-pity; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out so that we can be uplifted and enthused to get out and do Christ’s work nuh. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Good show mih breddren, good show! Our choirmaster, Jesus, was quite pleased with that rendition. The harmony and full voices were all that He expected. He was beaming from ear to ear. And you know there’s nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on Jesus’ face! 

So with our human motors now running smoothly on the fuel of adrenaline, let’s pick up the pace and enthusiastically get into the fray of this new workweek without further ado.  

That brings us to our Bit. ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Oh friends, you won’t know how that small bit of scripture touches and buoys my heart.  I can just see Bruh David sitting alone and forlorn at the entrance to the burnt out city of Ziklag, while his men mutter and complain around him, seriously talking about stoning him. He’s probably sadly shaking his head and thinking: ‘Why Lord, why eh?’ 

But then he remembers all the other misfortunes the Lord has successfully brought him through, the many victories the Lord had caused him to have, and his spirit lifts with the strong faith that he’s cultivated in the God of his forefathers over the years. And his next move is obviously to seek God’s advice. 

The problem here though my people, is that Bruh David had to raise that faith on his own, by himself, because there was no sympathetic human being to turn to. Likewise, there will be times when we find ourselves in the same situation; alone, with others crying out for our head, like they did for Jesus’. 

Friends, at those times, we have to dig deep down inside of us and dredge up the necessary faith that will lead us to Almighty God for help and guidance. For He is the ONLY One who can help us under those trying circumstances. 

That reminds me of another instance in Bruh David’s life, where he was encouraged in God, but this time by his covenant brother Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir to the throne. At that time Bruh David was on the run from Saul. 

The Good Book tells us. ‘And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God (encouraged him).

And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.’ (1 Sam.23:15-18) 

Oh my brethren, how blessed we are when we have even one friend to offer us that sort of encouragement! Job was another man of faith who had to encourage himself in God when God allowed Satan to cause him untold calamity. His wife told him to ‘curse God, and die,’ (Job 2:9b) 

That was exactly what Satan desired. But Job was not ready to give up all hope, and he reasoned that both good and evil came from God, so one had to learn to accept them both. (Job 2:10) 

But better yet, when his supposed friends were tongue lashing him, Job stalwartly proclaimed: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

That’s what we call unquenchable faith my fellow believers! Do we have that kind of faith? We should, but the problem is that kind of faith can only be acquired by undergoing true calamity. 

And the best example of encouraging one’s self in God is obviously our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Just look at how Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him thrice and all His other followers deserted Him when His time came. How do you think He stood up under the total desertion and the enormous physical and emotional punishment that followed eh?  

By encouraging Himself in His heavenly Father! Otherwise He would not have been able to bear the intense pain and terrible ‘sufferation’ without complaining. 

So friends, I just hope that we can appreciate the importance of strong faith in our Christian walk, and that it can only be built on the foundation of trials and tribulations. Much LOVE!

…when life seems oh so futile…Christians turn  their eyes, hearts and voices heavenward…where they find succour to salve their wounds…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2016 Romans 8:37.


Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

And then it was Saturday! A day when most of us don’t have to go out and labour, punch in and out on the man’s time clock. Oh what a blessing! Although we might actually work harder at home doing household chores than when we’re out labouring for the man. But at least we can do how much we want, when we want and at the pace we want. Glory to God! 

And would you believe, I have just the right inspiration this morning for us from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better day. 

And for this Saturday morning, Anselm advises: ‘Do something small and create a flow. Just clean your desk. Or pay your bills. Or wash the dishes. You just need to get started. When you have finished that small task you’ll feel more alert and ready to go do the next thing. You just have to get started to get motivated. So if you really don’t feel like doing anything, start with something small and work your way out and up.’ 

That’s pretty good advice my people, especially if you’re somewhat under the weather and you don’t feel like doing anything at all, but there are things you must do. Just start small and gradually work your way up to the big things. You’ll be surprised at how much you have accomplished at the end of the day. 

Ah friends, life is certainly strange yes! And why do I say that? Because some days you need to tackle the big things first, the ones you fear or dread the most, else you’ll just keep on putting them off and they’ll never get done. At other times, like today, it’s the small stuff we need to do to motivate us into doing bigger ones. 

And you know what? That ties in rather nicely to our Bit. But before we get to it, let’s set the scene with a couple of verses before it. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, what a marvellous bit of scripture! Bruh Paul says that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God which is found in Christ Jesus. Glory Hallelujah! That is something to sing and shout and gloat about my people! For once we have become new creatures in Christ, NOTHING WHATSOEVER can break that bond; neither life, death, angels, nor the evil powers that be! 

That should be very reassuring to all who come to Christ for rescue.  Knowing that even though we may be considered simple sheep to be slaughtered, the unconditional and everlasting LOVE of God shall never depart from us and will comfort us through each and any situation, be it good or bad. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yes my believing brethren, our God is the greatest power in the universe, because He created it and still controls it. Everything in it is subservient to Him. And His purpose for and towards us? Why, it’s something we all know, or should know. 

The Good Book generously shares it with us, in the uplifting words of Bruh Paul. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)  

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

Yeh friends, only those who truly LOVE God can appreciate the fact that even during our worst trials and tribulations, He is in the background working it all out for our good eventually. And I’m going to spoon feed you here again (smile) because the scripture is so phenomenal and relevant to what we are talking about.  

Listen to Job during his time of tribulation. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Now isn’t that the utmost in faith? It surely is! Job has suddenly lost everything, his family and his earthly possessions, through no fault of his own, or no evil deed, but yet still he carries the flaming torch of trust and faith in the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Mama Mia! How many of us possess such great faith today eh my people? Certainly not enough, for as soon as the first lash hits, and no succour is forthcoming from God, many of us begin to complain, lose faith and backslide. 

Hear the scholars on Job’s faithfulness. ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight.  Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’  

Ah mih people, there’s no more for me to say, except that we should sincerely ponder those scriptures that we’ve touched on today and try to see where they fit into our journey with Christ, and as always, turn to Jehovah God and ask for help in bettering ourselves faith wise. That’s the greatest wisdom available to mankind. Much LOVE!

…only when one truly walks by faith…and not by sight…can one truly appreciate the LOVE of God…found in Jesus Christ…

 

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