Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.     But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Awright my people, it’s the big day, Sunday, the Sabbath, a day of praise and worship! So let’s get straight to it nuh, let’s sing this popular song of praise and worship by Rick Founds, ‘Lord I lift Your name on high.

With strong voices and sincere hearts let’s allow our song to rise to heaven and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart as we praise and glorify His awesome majesty, magnify His holy name and give Him thanks for all that’s He’s done for us. 

‘Lord I lift Your name on high  Lord I love to sing Your praises  I’m so glad You’re in my life  I’m so glad You came to save us You came from Heaven to earth  To show the way  From the earth to the cross  My debt to pay  From the cross to the grave  From the grave to the sky  Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high… Lord I lift Your name on high…’ 

Beautiful my people, truly beautiful! Heaven had to be moved by such an outpouring of praise and thanksgiving! Now since I couldn’t share yesterday, the two of our friend Anselm’s quotes that I usually share, I’ll include one today. And it simply says: ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ 

So true friends, so true! We all know that when one door closes another is usually opened, but we pine for what’s behind the closed door so much, especially if it was good, that ofttimes we can’t see, or are not even aware of the newly opened door. We’ve got to learn that when God shuts a door, we’re to leave it alone, look elsewhere for the next thing He has earmarked for us. 

But, sadly, being creatures of habit and comfort, allergic to change, we still yearn and hunger for what’s behind the closed door, although deep down we know that the Lord has something better waiting for us through the newly opened door. Yes my brethren, we have to keep looking forward not backward. 

As they say, the Lord brings certain things and people into our lives for a reason and/or a season, but when that time is up, and He shuts that door, we have to let whatever it is go and move on. Otherwise we’ll spend our lives miserable, wanting and wishing for what is no longer available to us. End of sermon! (smile) 

Let’s turn to our Bit; the same one we’ve had for the last couple days. Why, you ask? Because it’s such an important scripture, one on which our basic faith is based, and thus there are several references to it throughout the Good Book. And more importantly, it is very appropriate for these evil and ungodly times in which we’re now living. 

Just listen to the great promise it contains. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what a glorious promise that is from our magnanimous and merciful God! In our most sinful times, our times of trials and tribulations, of disobedience and idolatry, it is yet possible to seek Jehovah God, through confession and repentance, a sincere heart and soul and find Him. Wow! 

Oh friends, that’s something our world needs to take advantage of RIGHT NOW because everything is falling down around us. War and strife, poverty, hunger, persecution, homelessness, failing economies, failing families and societies; those are the things that are currently colouring, are currently prominent in our world. 

Things like LOVE, peace, harmony, compassion, understanding and helping each other are unfortunately on the way out. And the ONLY way to change the negative aspects of our world is to turn to God in true repentance and receive His graceful forgiveness. 

Now hear this warning of the prophet Azariah to the Israelites. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa (the king) and said unto him. Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 

Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their troubles did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr.15:1-4)  

Ah friends, although the Israelites were stiff-necked, stubborn and hard-headed and often disobeyed God, when the rough times, meaning God’s punishment, really caught up to them, they were smart enough to return to worshipping the God of their fathers. Now why can’t we recognize our serious plight and realize that God’s hand is working against us and turn back to Him eh? 

The Israelites did it several times, and each time He welcomed them back with opened arms. He will certainly do the same for us, that is, if we can wake up before our entire world falls down, disintegrates around us. And it all depends on us my fellow believers in Christ, through the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20), we are supposed to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. And right now we have the tools to do it. 

So let’s get serious nuh, put our hands to the plough and just move forward with the saving grace of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. He is depending on His church to fight the good fight…and win it too. 

Now let’s end with a rather appropriate piece of scripture, words of our wonderful God, after He had spoken to the Israelites out of the mountain of fire, and they were all afraid. And the Lord said unto Moses. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!’ (Deut.5:29) 

That says it all friends! Now let’s go out and do our best for Jesus, because that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…only true LOVE…in the guise of Jesus…can save our fast deteriorating world…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2014 Mark 9:23

Mark 9:23.   Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
 
Ah mih people, the unexpectedness of life eh! That’s why we have to live and enjoy it while there’s still time. I went to bed last night, or rather this morning, at minutes to two, after being outside on my porch with Jesus, silently communing with the Father, as a gentle, latter autumn rain fell in my area.
 
Yes Friends, it was Jesus and I out there, for if we say He lives in us, and He is always with us, walking and talking with us, that means everywhere we go, He is there too. And that’s so comforting and reassuring!
 
So I get to bed at that early hour (smile) – remember Willie Shakespeare’s adage – to go to bed late is to be up early- and a couple of times I wake up to look at the clock radio on the far night table next to the Duchess’ side of the bed. But neither time could I see anything, which left me wondering why she would turn it off or unplug it.
 
But lo and behold, one of those times I sat up and looked around me, only to find that there was darkness all around. For a few seconds I was mystified… then it dawned on me that there was no electrical power. So obviously all the clocks that worked with electrical power were dead, and I had to grope around to find a flashlight to look at one of the battery-operated clocks.
 
Oh I have several clocks in my bathroom and bedroom, and all of them tell a different time. (smile) It was then around 5.30. I looked out the window, and out there everything was dark too. With no other alternative, I simply, and gladly went back to bed. What else could I do without electricity eh? (smile)
 
However, the ole body didn’t surface again until minutes to eight, and then I had to put out the garbage and stuff, because I heard the trucks rolling around the neighbourhood. So it’s not until minutes after eight that I’m starting to write the Bit. Now that’s my story… and I’m sticking to it! (smile)
 
I had some other stuff in mind to open with, but it seems the Good Lord wasn’t in favour of that, so we’ll leave it for another day. Anyway, we’ll continue with our Bit on faith and belief. ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’
 
Yes my brethren, through faith and belief in Almighty God, ANY and EVERYTHING is possible! Please don’t ever doubt that, because we have a God who created the universe and all therein, a God who is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present!
 
That means He’s all-powerful, as well as being here, there and everywhere at the same time, working out good for those He has called and who sincerely believe in Him. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my fellow believers!
 
And it’s truly sad that more of us don’t truly believe in His awesome power and LOVING-kindness, for then our lives and world would be so much better!
 
And we’ll continue to check out a couple of instances where faith and belief made a substantial difference in certain people’s lives, as they came to Jesus for help. The first is about the Roman centurion.
 
The Good Book tells it this way: ‘And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy (paralyzed), grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
 
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant should be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
 
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
 
But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.’ (Matt.8:5-13)
 
Yes Friends, yuh see what faith can do! It can help you move heaven and earth! And per the scholars: ‘8:5-9. The centurion (comparative to a sergeant –major’s rank today) was impressed with Jesus, whom he likened to himself as one under authority. He recognized that in dealing with the realm of sickness and death Jesus had all the power of God behind Him.’
 
And ‘8:10-13: The words from the east and west, are taken form Psalm 107 (with allusions also to Is.49:12; 59:19; Mal.1:11). Here Christ is referring to the ingathering of the Gentiles through the preaching of the gospel, culminating in their final gathering at the time of His Second coming.
 
The children of the kingdom refers to those to whom the kingdom really belongs. Outer darkness refers to the condemnation of the second death. There shall be…gnashing of teeth: There (in that place) is used emphatically to draw attention to the fact that such severe punishment is in fact reality.
 
Even though he was a Gentile, the servant was healed because of the faith of the centurion. The contrast to this incident drawn by Jesus emphasizes the foolishness of Israel’s rejection of Him as Messiah.’
 
And sadly my people, today we are still perpetuating that foolishness of Israel, by rejecting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! How foolish eh, after all the examples and pratfalls we’ve experienced over the years?
 
Anyway, time and space are against us, so we’ll close with these famous remarks of Jesus to His disciples, when they could not heal the sick youth with the dumb spirit that we talked about yesterday.
 
‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21)
 
There again we have it Friends, Jesus telling us about the importance of prayer and fasting, albeit in a sincere manner. So today, as we tend to Jesus’ business, let’s go forth in faith, hope, LOVE and belief, so that we can make a positive difference in our fallen world, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!
 
…the first step is to simply believe…then the next one is to still believe…then to the others…just keep on believing…

 

  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2014 Job 14:14

Job 14:14.    If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come.

Yes Friends, it’s the big one, the big day, Friday!

And joyous shouts were heard all around the world from the working class: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and no more work after this for two whole, big days! Glory Hallelujah! Thank God is Friday!’

Ah mih people, what a life eh, when we have to be so happy to get a couple days off from work! But them’s the breaks in this modern society. And we in the West are still very fortunate, for in many other parts of the world the workers don’t have that luxury of days of and vacations, etc. etc.

So please let’s appreciate what we have and work hard to keep it, because if we don’t, we’ll certainly lose it with the return to menial work and working conditions that the current entrepreneurial class is trying to restore.

Anyway, to keep us in line, in some form and fashion, let’s chant our Friday Chant. All together 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 brethren, that’s how we ought to view the weekend, instead of seeing it as just another occasion to party!

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is certainly an interesting one, voicing some of Job’s deepest thoughts in his day of tribulation. ‘If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time (hard service) will I wait, till my change come.’

Ah mih people, though Job longs for death, he is still willing to wait and experience whatever hard times he faces, until that blessed day comes. Are we willing to do likewise – face our trials with grace and fortitude till the day of our departure from this life comes? We ought to.

And as per Job’s question: ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ Here is the answer, which Job himself gives later on in chapter 19, when he states his faith.

‘For I know that my Redeemer (kinsman) liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day (at last) upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’ (Job 19:25-26)

Oh my people, what powerful words of faith from a man undergoing serious tribulation! Oh, how I wish that we could all be so staunch in our faith! (smile)

Now I never planned to include these scholars’ notes nuh, but after reading them, I figured I’d be doing us all a grave injustice by not including them.

’19:23-27. God has humiliated Job (vv.8-12), his friends and relatives have abandoned him (vv.13-20), and he has been reduced to pleading for pity (vv.21-22). But from the depths of degradation he expresses his confidence that if his case could only be recorded for posterity, future generations would judge him favourably (vv.23-24).

Furthermore, he knows confidently that he has a Redeemer (v.25, Heb. go’el), One who will champion his cause and vindicate him. The Redeemer is more than an arbiter (9:33) or a witness (16:19) but a Kinsman-Redeemer, and the Hebrew word is in fact used often of God (Ps. 19:14; Is.41:14, etc.).

In my flesh (v.26) speaks of a resurrected body. Though it may also be translated “apart from my flesh,” as a spirit being, the emphasis of the original means “from the standpoint of my flesh,” in my resurrected body. Here then is clear evidence of the Old Testament belief in the resurrection of the human body.’

Now that is quite a mouthful, but I believe it gives us great insight into Job’s beliefs, and is also a powerful example of true Christian behaviour and character. So please pay serious attention to it my brethren.

And in keeping with our goal of seeking relevant scriptures on waiting on God, let’s look at a couple that highlight that fact. Up first is a fairly well known passage from Isaiah, re a prayer for help.

‘For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God (any God), beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.’(Is.64:4)

And we’ll close with some powerful and famous words of Bruh David from Psalm 37, where he elucidates on the true state of the wicked. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:7-9)

Oh my fellow believers, what wonderful words of indisputable and everlasting truth!

So let’s go out today and show our great wisdom by putting them into practice nuh. It will certainly warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…to wait…to wait…and yet to wait patiently and eagerly on the Lord…that is the purpose of man…