Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

Psalm 121:2.    My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

And then it was Saturday… and the rains have stopped…though for how long, no one knows. Yes friends Friday was a wonderful rainy day! (smile) I left home to go to my appointment in the city around eleven in the morning, but did not get back home until four thirty in the afternoon, and all throughout that time it rained steadily.

At one stage they were even talking about closing the main north south highway, Don Valley Parkway because it runs near to the Don River which overflows its banks and floods the highway when there is a lot of rain. And strangely enough there wasn’t as much traffic as I expected going into the city yesterday. It was harder traversing the downtown roads than the highway. I guess the rain kept a lot of people away. 

So Jesus and I just rode in companionable silence, looking out at the bleak and dreary landscape, listening to the variety of beautiful tunes emanating from the stereo system, smiling at each other when a particular tune that we liked blared forth. Oh my brethren, it’s such a pleasure riding with Jesus, I just wish more of us would consider it. You’d never go back to riding alone. 

Anyway it’s Saturday, which means we have to check out some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, whose avowed aspiration is to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Listen to this first one: ‘Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.’ Yeh, we ought to have a big hand in building our own lives, not merely waiting for others to boost us…with God in attendance though. 

And that leads to this: ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.’ Oh so true my people! We should NEVER allow ourselves to be bullied period! And again, I would add, define yourself…but with God’s wise help. (smile) 

Now hear this last quote: ‘People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.’ 

Now I agree that we should not allow our circumstances to control us, but we must also be very careful in trying to manipulate circumstances to fit our agenda, for they can very often run contrary to God’s plans for us. So again I will have to add a caveat to the quote: do nothing without talking to God first. That’s wisdom 101 my faithful breddren! 

That brings us to our Bit, which espouses that very wisdom. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Yes friends, we saw that in yesterday’s reading of Psalm 121. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then that should be the overriding factor in every one of your decisions. For if the Lord made the heaven and the earth, then whom else would you logically turn to for help eh? Obviously the great Creator!  God should always be our FIRST counsellor, not our LAST, as so many of us unfortunately tend to make Him. 

Now let’s check out some scripture that wisely advises us to keep God first place in our lives. Listen to Moses as he blesses the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (down) their high places (places of pagan worship). (Deut.33:29) 

Ah friends, those same circumstances pertain to us today, provided we are obedient to God’s law. But since we are so blatantly flouting it, what else can we expect but negative consequences; calamity and disaster.  

And the psalmist puts it this way. ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:20-22) 

And you’ll notice I highlighted that last piece, because there is a rather important proviso contained therein; as we hope and believe in and obey the Lord, He will bless us proportionately. We will only reap what we sow. 

And we’ll end with these interesting verses from the prophet Hosea, as he foretold Israel’s destruction. ‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be 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 mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.13:9-11) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, and His wrath is not something we really want to experience. But if we continue down our current road of disobedience, believe me, we will eventually feel it. So true wisdom dictates that we repent and return to the godly ways we once followed, if we want to enjoy the Lord’s grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, it’s Sunday! Glory Hallelujah! What a joy it is to be able to get up and go out to church and worship with other believers! 

How awesome it is to get together and praise and celebrate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Receiving in return His unbeatable strength, unsurpassed wisdom, unconditional LOVE, ever-faithful care and heart-felt compassion! Glory Be! 

Oh friends, how I wish the majority of us would feel like that on Sunday mornings. Hn! The sad reality though is that too many of us force ourselves to get up and go to church because it’s expected of us; just like work on a Monday morning. There’s no joy in our spirits like if we were going to a party. 

But friends, it is a party we’re going to! Isn’t there singing and dancing, and praising and giving thanks? There surely is! It’s not just a mournful, dirge-like experience that we’re forced to live through. So why, for so many of us, going to church is like pulling teeth eh? 

We ought to be happy and joyous, celebrating the occasion to be able to get together freely in public to glorify our Creator. Many of our fellow believers around the world don’t have that privilege. They have to hide and meet in secret, in out of the way places to have church. And in many places they are persecuted for simply believing in Jesus! That means we have the best of all worlds, but simply don’t appreciate it. 

Anyway, enough of my ranting, (smile) listen to this excerpt from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. As soon as I read it, I knew that it would be most appropriate for this glorious Sunday morning. 

It’s titled ‘The Secret,’ and it says: ‘I couldn’t help but watch her As we sat in the service together Last Sunday morning… Her white hair so neatly coiffured Her hands resting on her open Bible Her smile so beautifully tranquil. When the hymn was announced She sang with a glowing smile. Occasionally during the message She nodded her head in assent. 

(O Lord, what peace she portrays.) After the service I spoke to her: “You are an inspiration, my dear. I hope I may sit with you again.” She thanked me profusely. Then she added with shining joy “Isn’t it wonderful to know Jesus? I mean – really KNOW Him!” In that instant, dear God I knew the secret of her radiance.’ 

Oh precious people of Jesus, that is how we ought to be, and can be if we’d only invest some more time and energy in truly getting to KNOW our amazing, magnificent and magnanimous God! And we can only do that by seriously reading His Word, sincerely talking to Him in prayer and joyfully fellowshipping with other believers. 

And by the way, the promise attached to that poem is ‘Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Phil. 3:8 NL.V) 

Oh what indisputable truth that is my brethren! There is nothing that’s worth more in this mish-mash world than truly KNOWING Jesus! For He is indeed the Be All and the End All of our world; the First and the Last; the Alpha and Omega! Oh praise His Holy Name my people!  

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ More truth of enormous proportions my brethren! 

And we’ll continue looking at the references that the scholars gave re ‘the perfect law of liberty.’ We saw what Jesus had to say about His coming to fulfill the law not destroy it. (Matt.5:17) Now listen to Bruh Paul, as he talks about zeal but no righteousness. 

‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness) that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Acts 10:1-4) 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. 

But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And unfortunately many of us are doing the same thing today my people. We are concentrating too much on our religious works and achievements, and not enough on the righteousness that is necessary, and can be attained from a sincere and purposeful union with Christ. 

Ah friends, many of us are being led astray by the religiosity of the church; the concentration on man-made rules and regulations, the many do’s and don’ts that have become institutionalized down through the ages. It’s time for us to be free from the bondage of traditional church law and return to what is truly important, the spiritual acumen that Jesus died for us to have; the true inner faithfulness and righteousness, not merely the outward show to look good in public. 

Now I hope that this message makes sense, but as I always say, we Christians are bright enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) And if the message does nothing else, I hope that it puts a joy in our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits to get up and go to church this Sunday morning, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages my fellow believers! Much LOVE!

…oh the true joy of really knowing Jesus…nothing to it can compare…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2013 Matthew 6:25

 

Matthew 6:25.     Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)?

Well hello again, you beautiful children of God! What an enormous and exciting privilege to be called a child of God, eh mih people! But do most of us think of our selves in those terms, and if we do, do we truly appreciate that monumental fact?

I’m afraid that the answer to both questions is most likely NO! We neither seriously consider ourselves children of God, nor do we truly appreciate it, otherwise we wouldn’t continue doing some of the abominable things we do. But once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then we do become heirs of God, along with Jesus, and what better state can there be to live in eh, my fellow believers? NONE WHATSOEVER!

For being a child of the Most High God Jehovah means we’re right at the top of the totem pole, right at the heart of the matter, more privileged than those who refuse to believe. But by the same token my brethren, that elevated status also comes with great responsibility; namely to do the Father’s will and show plenty appreciation for such an undeserved distinction.  

And this is the season for celebrating the greatest gift that was ever bestowed on mankind; the incarnate birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Prince of Peace, etc. etc, born to bear and pay for our sins, from the very beginning of time, right through eternity.

Again, do we really show our heartfelt appreciation? And I’m not talking about running around shopping, buying gifts, food and all the other stuff the world expects of us. But whether we thank our heavenly Father, from the very depths of our being, for that great gift of LOVE He so selflessly bestowed on us, simply because He LOVED us and didn’t want to see us end up in the evil tentacles of Lucifer for all eternity, especially since we are His own special creation, created in His likeness.

And that means talking to, and thanking Him personally, as well as in fellowship with other believers. And then doing what Jesus advises in our Bit, which I believe is on its last day, won’t guarantee it though. (smile)

‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)?

Oh my brethren, when we truly come to God, we need to be like little children, who are totally dependent on their parents, looking to Him for daily guidance and sustenance.

As Jesus says, seeking His kingdom FIRST, getting a spiritual agenda going, before considering  the material things, because that’s the Father’s will. And why wouldn’t we, when Jesus so avidly declares that if we seek and follow the spiritual needs, then the Father will supply our material wants? That sounds absolutely great to me!

But unfortunately too many of God’s supposed children don’t seem to think so and instead foolishly follow the ways of the world, putting the material things way before the spiritual, sometimes even going so far as to completely ignore the things of God. And then we wonder why personally, and as a society, we’re in such dire straits.

Today Friends, we’re going to check out some scripture where other discerning and properly focused children of God share the great promise that Jesus makes in our Bit.

And we’ll begin with some wonderful words of advice from Bruh David, from Psalm 55, where he cries out against deceitful friends. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps.55:22) 

And those are awesome words of truth my people, as so many of us who have followed them, have found out to our great benefit. The problem though is that not enough of us do it.

Then turning to Bruh Paul, who has a point of view on almost every subject. (smile) Here, he’s telling the Philippians about rejoicing in the Lord. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (is near spiritually, and will be back to judge).

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7)

Yeh Friends, everything we do, ought to be passed FIRST before our great God! In that way, we’ll always be operating in His will, which is His greatest desire, and can be our greatest accomplishment.

And we’ll close with some more wise words, this time from Peter, words that we all know but don’t sufficiently follow. In the closing chapter of his first epistle, Peter exhorts us to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7)

Oh Friends, no simpler words exist to convey that rather important message, so if we don’t get it, then it’s definitely our fault. And please note that all the advice we’ve heard from those men of God wasn’t hearsay, but derived from actual personal experience. All of them depended on our heavenly Father for their sustenance, so if they could do it and prosper, then why can’t we eh?

I’ll leave us to answer that question individually before our Maker, and trust that we’ll all let Him talk to our hearts, and thus lead us on the straight and narrow path which takes us directly to His door.

Oh mih Friends, that’s wisdom at its highest! So let’s try and do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…belief…surrender…trust…hope…faith…the 5 essentials of Christianity…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2013 Psalm 61:3

 Psalm 61:3.    For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.   

Ah Friends, May has quietly segued into June. Wow! I don’t know if it’s just my perception, but to me the months of this year are going by rather quickly. Anyway, even if it’s just my imagination, it’s time once again to check up on our sole New Year’s Resolution; drawing closer to Jesus.

Have we advanced any, daily becoming more like Him, showing greater LOVE, patience, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, compassion, and all the other fruits of the Spirit that we’re supposed to bear and share? I sure hope so.

But as I reason, if we’re truly serious about becoming more Christ-like, then it’s much easier to check our progress every month and make the necessary corrections, than doing so on a yearly basis. So please, let’s take some quiet time, today or tomorrow, and review our progress. We’ll be amazed at what we’ll find.

Now I know that some of you read the Daily Bread Devotional, but I wonder how many read the last page of the May offering? Not that dated May 31, but the page after that. Well whether you did or not, I’d like to share some awesome wisdom that’s printed there, some that we should all thoroughly consider, accept and believe.

They claim that knowing whether God exists is important, but that actually knowing God is even more important. And I wholeheartedly agree. They quote a rather interesting passage by the theologian, J.I Packer.

‘What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we have in life? To know God. What is the eternal life that Jesus gives? To know God. What in man gives God most pleasure? Knowledge of Himself.’

Yes Friends, all that we are, have and were meant to be, begins and ends with knowing God; the One who created us and provides for us, both here on earth and in heaven. And our Bit today highlights the great importance of truly knowing God.

Psalm 61, from which it’s taken is sub-titled, ‘Lead me to a rock that is higher than I.’ And that’s exactly what our God is, my brethren; a rock that is much higher, more secure and much more powerful than us!

And Bruh David appropriately begins it: ‘Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.’ (Ps.61:1-2)

Yes Friends, in his time of trouble Bruh David runs to that powerful, secure and calming influence; the ever open and waiting arms of Almighty God! And I can testify that there’s no better place to run when the enemy approaches. Now why is that?

Bruh David gives us the reason in our Bit: ‘For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’

There’s method to Bruh David’s madness Friends, and also to mine. (smile) From earlier experiences he knows that God will protect him in times of tribulation. In other words, he knows God. Their relationship is such that he can call on Him at any time, in regards to any matter, and He will hear and answer Him.

Consequently, he can unhesitatingly proclaim: ‘I will abide in thy tabernacle (tent) for ever: I will trust in the covert (shelter) of thy wings. Selah. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.’ (Ps.61:4-5)

Oh my brethren, do we know God so well, that we can sincerely say those things? I surely hope so, because if we don’t, then crapaud smoke we pipe, things really bad with us. Remember, as we said earlier on, our whole existence is about knowing God. But that can only happen when we constantly seek Him, consistently read and meditate on His Word, and converse with Him in prayer.

And note, prayer is simply talking to God, opening our hearts to Him, telling Him our problems, our goals, desires and fears, and asking for His potent and wise help in becoming like His wonderful Son Jesus Christ. He doesn’t need all the ceremony; the bowing and scraping and prostrating ourselves, for outward show doesn’t matter to Him. What matters most to God is the state of our hearts, spirits and motives, whether we’re sincere or not.

So please let’s not behave like the hypocrite Pharisees and them, whom Jesus detested for their outward show and self-righteous acts. Our God wants us to come to Him humbly, but confidently, and lay all our cards on the table, not holding back anything, for it’s not a poker game, where we have to hide our true feelings.

And Cousin Sol backs that up admirably with this scripture from Proverbs 18. ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (set on high).’ (Prov.18:10)

Yes Friends, as the scholars explain: ‘The righteous find protection in the Lord.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Now let’s end with some more powerful words from Bruh David on the subject. This comes from his Song of Deliverance, when the Lord finally gave him rest from all his enemies, including Saul. The Song is found in 2 Samuel 22, Psalm 18 is the edited version.

Listen closely: ‘And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock: in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn (strength) of my salvation, my high tower (stronghold), and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (2 Sam.22:2-4)

Oh my people, such is the confidence that our God builds in us when we consistently walk with Him! And anyone who doesn’t want that confidence in a rock and refuge that’s higher than them, then something’s seriously wrong.

All I know is that I’m going to seek Him and His kingdom first and foremost, put all my eggs in His safe basket, because I am sure of His LOVE, STRENGTH, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE!

And I encourage you to do the same, because it is truly wisdom at its highest level. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we’ll follow Jesus…even to the ends of the universe…no doubt about it…