Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2016 Joshua 24:14‏

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s bright and sunny in my neighbourhood, though a tad chilly! But spring’s in the air! Glory Hallelujah! Hope it is encouraging in your area too. 

But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the bright and beautiful, positive and reassuring light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining in and through us, and that helps us to handle the dark and dreary physically challenged days. (smile) That means there’s no need to be down and depressed because of the weather.  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I thought was rather appropriate to share, especially in these difficult times of ministry. It’s simply titled ‘Coincidences.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I was intrigued With the brilliant vocabulary Of the patient sitting next to me In the reception room. I don’t remember The start of our conversation But suddenly we were discussing prayer. I shared rather freely Your pertinent answers To my day-by-day requests. 

Labelling himself a skeptic He smiled and said courteously “What you consider answered prayer I choose to call coincidence.” 

You know how it is with me, Lord – I’m always slightly at ease In the Big Middle Of a theological discussion. I’m much more at home in my kitchen Mixing muffin batter Or tossing green salads. Frankly I was relieved When the dentist called my name. 

But one thing I do know, Lord When I pray, “coincidences” happen. When I don’t pray they stop… So thank You again and again For ten thousand “coincidences” Always in the nick of time When I pray.’ 

Oh friends what a rather common situation that is amongst believers. We all at times feel rather inadequate to explain our faith and why we pray, and are indeed much happier and more comfortable discussing other topics. 

But despite our inadequacy in explaining that faith, we are convinced that answers to our prayers are certainly not coincidences, but the actual workings of God in our lives. And we’ll go to our graves believing that. 

But if someone else wants to label them ‘coincidences,’ then we’ll very gladly receive them. Like a rose by any other name is just as sweet, so is answered prayer by any other name just as reassuring and encouraging. (smile) 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians; one that we all know very well, whether we keep it though is another story. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) Remember my precious people, prayer is indispensable in a Christian’s life. 

Now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with lots of spunk and plenty conviction. Altogether 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.’ 

All praise and glory and might and power to our wonderful God, who LOVED us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf! So let’s remember, every minute of every day, who and whose we are; beloved children of Almighty God! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

And that’s the other side of the coin my fellow Christians! If we consider ourselves children of God, then we must adhere to His Will and Word with sincerity and truth, and consequently revere ONLY Him as our Maker, Provider and Comforter. 

As Jesus told the ole hypocrite Pharisees, when they tried to tempt and confuse Him: ‘Render (pay) therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.’ (Matt.22:21) 

Yes friends, as true believers, that’s how we ought to behave! And things like reverence, supplication, LOVE, care, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy and grace, ALL belong to the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s give Him His rightful due nuh my brethren, and stop worshiping at the altar of sin and the lustful things of the world, which belong to the evil one, the prince of darkness. Let’s stop wallowing in the darkness of evil, and instead fully, gratefully and graciously embrace the LIGHT and LOVE that’s Jesus, and which offer us so much more, especially salvation and eternal life! 

And we’ll end with these wonderful and true words of the Preacher, Cousin Sol, from Ecclesiastes. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

Ah mih breddren, as true believers, that’s our bounden duty right there in a nutshell! Please, let’s wisely follow it as long as there is the breath of God in our bodies nuh. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is simply…faithfully reverencing God and being obedient to His Word and Will…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2016 Joshua 24:14

Joshua 24:14.   Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Well my brethren, it’s that time again – Monday Morning…! 

And I hear the mournful groans and poor me one sighs… Now mih breddren don’t even start with the nonsense nuh; the foolish whining and complaining! It’s Monday morning which means we have to get up and go to work. It’s as simple as that! 

So please, let’s do it without any griping and talk of tiredness and sickness and all the other negative factors we quick to bring up when we don’t want to go to work. Let’s behave like true followers of Jesus and do what we’re supposed to do in a positive manner. 

By now we should have learned how to pace ourselves over the weekend, so that on Monday morning we are bright and fresh and just rearing to go out and join Jesus in His fight against the evil one. And if we haven’t learned that as yet, then it’s our own fault. 

However, as always, we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help us get ourselves together, so let’s sing it loud and clear, harmoniously and melodically, so as to bring a beautiful smile to the face of our choirmaster Jesus. 

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!’ 

Now that was an okay rendition friends – not spectacular, but better than many others we’ve done, and though Jesus didn’t break out into elated smiles and gushing compliments, He was satisfied. So let’s use that build-up of adrenalin to get out into the evil world and work for Jesus, as we’re supposed to do. 

And turning to our Bit, we get more solid advice to serve our Creator as best we can. ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

Oh friends, we couldn’t get any better advice than that! As we saw yesterday those were some of Joshua’s final words to the Israelites whom He had lead into the Promised Land, and with God’s help had subdued their enemies. 

And why would Joshua have to warn them about turning away from the God who had brought them out of bondage in Egypt, looked after them for forty years in the wilderness, then gave them the land of their enemies over the other side of the Jordan eh? 

Because he knew their hardheartedness and penchant for faithlessness. Remember he had been with them since the beginning and had seen how they had rebelled several times against Moses and the magnanimous God who had been so wonderful to them down through the years. 

And so it’s not surprising that years later, another leader, Samuel, had to warn them about the same thing. This after they had turned against God and desired an earthly king like all the other nations around them, when the Lord their God was their king. So after God relented and made Saul king, (1Sam.9) Samuel warned them. 

‘And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain (empty, futile) things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. 

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed (swept away), both ye and your king.’ (1 Sam.12: 20-25) 

Oh my people, those sage words of warning are also very applicable to today. Remember, the Lord and His Word doesn’t change. So if serving Him truthfully back then was so important, why wouldn’t it be just as important now eh? 

But sadly friends, we’re not listening, we’re going after other gods and man-made idols with impunity. How long do you think that is going to last eh? Not very long. 

In fact, don’t you think that all the terrible disasters and strife and economic downturn, the climate change and all the negative stuff that’s now affecting our world has something to do with our disobedience to God’s law? I don’t know how much of our current woes are caused by it, but I’m sure some of it is. 

And instead of waking up and turning back to God, in all our foolish wisdom, we just keep getting further and further away from Him, and deeper and deeper into the mire, the quicksand of evil with Lucifer. 

Ah my fellow believers, the minority of us who know better, let’s try our best to change that unwise thinking nuh, and get our world back to worshipping and serving Almighty God, so that things will be well with us and our descendants, for that is truly wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will gladly and truthfully serve the Lord…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2016 Joshua 24:14

Joshua 24:14.    Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Oh my beautiful believers in Jesus Christ, it’s the first day of May, as well as the Lord’s Day, better known as Sunday! 

That means it’s time for church; time for praise and worship, for thanksgiving and fellowship, for rejuvenation of spirit, encouragement and steadfastness of purpose, plus all the other good things that our magnanimous God pours out on those who LOVE Him, diligently seek Him and obediently do His will! 

Now I’m not going to harangue or lecture us about going to church today. That shouldn’t be at all necessary, for if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that’s your bounden duty, so I’ll just leave that up to you and your heavenly Father. (smile) 

What I’ve been guided to do though, is to share a prayer which I shared a long time back, so many of you would not have heard it, but it’s one of my favourite prayers. From the first time I found it in my mother’s Bible after she died, something about it just touched me, and I’ve prayed it almost every day after that.  

It’s a special prayer prepared by the Life Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut.  It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the sub-title is ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.’  – Psalm 107:8’ 

Now please pray with me: ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! 

How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! 

As I look to 2016 (or whatever year) I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour; I pray! Amen.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that prayer touched you all! I guess what I like about it is that it covers all the bases, it’s so all encompassing, plus everything it says is true and relevant. Some of you may not like it, but that’s okay; it’s your choice. As they say, different strokes for different folks! (smile) Anyway, that’s my contribution for today. 

Now let’s turn to our new Bit, a part of Joshua’s farewell address to the Israelites. He had just finished reminding them about all the good things the Lord had done for them, giving them houses they didn’t build, vineyards they didn’t plant etc. 

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, that verse is even more appropriate and relevant in this New World Order than it was thousands of years ago when Joshua spoke those fateful words. That’s because the worshipping of other gods, plus basic ungodliness is so rampant in our current society. 

Unfortunately, the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not held in respect nor reverence by a rather large part of the world. Many people know of and about Him, but yet they steadfastly refuse to honour and obey Him. How sad that is my people, for our world could be truly such a beautiful place if more of us sincerely worshipped and revered the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now why the blatant refusal to accept the God of heaven eh? I believe there are two main reasons. First of all, the pull of the material, lustful and sinful world is rather strong. We feast our eyes on all the supposed glitz and glamour and possessions available, and our hearts clamour for them, and the evil one just makes it so easy for us to fall into his sinful trap.  

And the second reason is that we believers, supposed ambassadors and disciples of Jesus, who have been assigned the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20) to teach and baptize and spread the wonderful gospel of Jesus all over the world, are not doing as good a job as we should. The hypocritical examples of our lives are turning people away from Jesus instead of drawing them closer to Him. 

So there we have it; Lucifer and his evil cronies are doing a good job on selling sin, while the followers of Jesus are not doing a good job of selling righteousness. No rocket science involved at all friends. 

So what are we doing, or going to do to change this rather unpalatable situation eh my believing breddren? All I can say is that we need to pull up our britches and do a better job of spreading the good news of Jesus, and backing it up with perfect, well not quite perfect, but much better examples of true Christian living. 

Remember friends, examples speak more forcibly than words, and we can talk all the talk in the world, if we don’t walk that talk, then it’s useless, just wasted talk. And we’ll close with these precious and fateful words of Joshua, declared after our Bit. 

‘And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

Yes friends, that’s the big and serious decision we all have to make. And like Joshua, I surely hope that we will all decide, with our families, to serve the Lord God Jehovah, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…until more believers get truly serious about the Great Commission…both talking and living it…the good news of Jesus will be sadly lacking in this ungodly world…