Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Awright my fellow believers, it’s the first day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means we need to be making our way to church at some stage of the day, to praise and worship and rejoice and fellowship with other believers. Now that’s not my directive, but our God’s.  (Ex.20:8-11) 

So if we want to be truly obedient then we will gladly do His will and don’t behave like it’s pulling teeth, like we’re being forced to go, and if we don’t, hellfire and brimstone might fall down on us. Now it just might… (smile)  

But please remember friends, this is for our good, not for God’s. He already has all He wants, and whether we praise and worship Him or not, will not change His situation, but it will surely change ours. 

So let’s stop being, stubborn, hardhearted and foolish and get ourselves to the Lord’s sanctuary, so that we can receive His blessings, mercy, encouragement, LOVE and revitalization to face tomorrow and the rest of the week strong and steadfast. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! All power and glory be unto Him!’ 

Ah mih people, what’s happening to our faith today eh? There seems to be more churches of different denominations, or no denomination, than ever before, but overall the total number of worshippers doesn’t seem to be increasing that much. What seems to be happening is that believers are leaving one church for another, so while some churches are packed to capacity, others are almost empty, especially of the youth of our society. 

It also seems that the youth of today can’t handle the staid, dirge-like, old fashioned worship of the established churches, and when they do go to church are opting for the more modern, new-fangled style of worship. Now that is something the established churches will have to figure out if they intend to survive this boomer generation. They’ll definitely have to invoke God’s wisdom and discernment to fix that problem. 

But enough preamble, let’s turn to our Bit. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Oh friends, whenever we sincerely seek the Lord and diligently try to be obedient to His will, His presence surrounds us like a warm, protective blanket in the heart of winter. Hn! Many of us could use one of those blankets right about now, as the cold weather refuses to depart in peace from the northern climes. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to some scripture to corroborate the words of our Bit. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing – after Nathan the prophet had draped him up for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. 

He cries out to God for mercy and cleansing, admitting his sin: ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:7-13) 

Oh precious people, can you imagine the state Bruh David must have been in when he realized that God had marked his selfish and foolish abominations, after He had been so good and generous to him. Note his words in verse 11: ‘Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.’ He knew how essential it was to be in God’s presence, with His Holy Spirit leading him. Without those two things, he might as well be dead.  

And on a more current and sadder note, I recently read in the newspapers about Glen Campbell’s losing fight with Alzheimer’s disease. We all remember him from his hit making days, with songs like ‘Rhinestone Cowboy, By the time I get to Phoenix,’ and my personal favourite ‘Gentle on my mind.’ 

Now, at age 79, he’s living in a memory care community in Nashville, apparently not even able to play the guitar anymore. How sad. But his wife Kim had this to say: ‘Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. 

There have been times when he’d walk over to the window and look at the beautiful trees outside, and he’d just raise his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly father.” He could barely speak at all, but he could come up with “We’re so blessed,” or “Thank you heavenly father.” 

That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him.’ 

And all God’s people said, ‘Amen.’ 

Let’s hope and pray friends, that any of us who head down that sad and lonely road, will also feel the comforting presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, even though we can’t put it into words. 

Now let’s end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. And every time I read the words or hear it spoken, I remember the most memorable reading of it I’ve ever heard, that by Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) one day from the Crystal Cathedral. The way he acted it out, it got stuck in my mind forever. 

Listen to these most appropriate words. ‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover (fall on, hide) me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

And all of that is gospel truth friends! We can’t run nor hide from God, even if we are foolish enough to try. So please, today, let’s go about obediently doing His will nuh, for it’s in our best interest to do so. Much LOVE!

…to be eternally in God’s awesome presence…is why we were created…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2013 Ecclesiastes 12:14

Ecclesiastes 12:14.   For God shall bring every work into judgement with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
 
And then it was Friday – a wintry Friday! There’s already some precipitation on the ground in my area – not much, but precipitation nonetheless. And who knows what’s going to follow eh; snow or freezing rain, or a combination of both? Anyhow we cut it, if the weather people are right, today’s going to be a dangerous day.
 
So please people, let’s all take very good care as we go about our business outside, for the weather conditions will not be ideal… Hn! And we don’t want any accidents or misfortunes just before Christmas. So if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T GO OUT! Words of true wisdom Friends. (smile)
 
I also noticed that the weather warning somewhat dampened our usually glorious shout of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ But with prayer and care, we ought to make it safely through another winter’s day.
 
And to top it all off, let’s chant out Friday chant, with joy and gladness, simply because we’re alive and kicking, have jobs to go to, and live under the umbrella of a mighty, magnificent and magnanimous God!
 
So my brethren, let’s chant: ‘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.’
 
Now let’s get that perspective firmly grounded in our beings, so that we can live it out over the weekend. And do we ever need stuff like that to keep us on the straight and narrow, especially when we have a Bit like today’s: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’
 
Yeh mih people, all our words and actions WILL indeed be judged on the big day! But as the saying goes; to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So now that we know what’s going to eventually happen, we have no excuses for making bad, or wrong, or evil decisions and choices.
 
Yesterday we saw the Preacher telling us to sow diligently in the mornings, then in the evenings, hold out our hands expectantly, in faith, because we don’t know which seed that we planted will prosper. But then again, in our rejoicing, we also have to pay attention to the many dark days of trial and struggle that will surely come during our lifetimes. It’s a fine balancing act my brethren! That’s what life is.
 
Now hear this wise advice from the preacher to the young. Oh if many of us had heard it when we were young!
 
‘Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways (impulses) of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes (as you see to be best): but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement. Therefore remove sorrow (vexation) from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth (prime of life) are vanity.’ (Eccl.11:9-10)
 
And isn’t that the awesome truth my people! When we are young, we feel the world’s our oyster, and we can do whatever we want to, without fear of repercussions or consequences. But that’s a deceitful conception, propagated by evildoers, for as we are seeing, God will one day judge all that we ever did here on planet earth.
 
And please note the scholars’ take on the situation. ‘Once again the exhortation to enjoyment is put in the imperative mood. Here the appeal is particularly addressed to the youth to admonish him to enjoy life before the onset of the feeble years described in 12:1-7.
 
Verse 9 can hardly be taken in a hedonistic sense, because the controlling factor in the youth’s enjoyment is said to be God’s judgement. Rather, it is a warning against a life misspent in self-indulgence.’
 
Oh Friends, the sooner we learn these lessons, the better off we’ll all be! For yesterday we saw Jesus declare the truth of the judgement day. (Matt.12:35-37) Now listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the church at Corinth, talking about real judgement.
 
‘For I know nothing by (against) myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest (reveal) the counsels (motives) of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.’ (1 Cor.4:4-5)
 
Ah mih people, more words of divine truth, which will do us a lot of good to hear and inwardly digest! 
 
And here’s an interesting note from the scholars’. ‘4:4. I know nothing by myself (lit. “I know nothing against myself”). This sort of total commitment gave Paul the authority to make such a statement as “be ye followers of me” (cf. 1 Cor.4:16; 11:1).’
 
Yes Friends, let’s be followers of Bruh Paul nuh, as he was a follower of Jesus! We certainly can’t go wrong if we follow his example. Much LOVE!
 
…and the heavens shall declare his righteousness…for God is JUDGE himself…  Selah (Ps.50:6)