Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 September 2021   1 Corinthians 1:9.

1 Corinthians 1:9.      God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

What’s happening this new day filled with new compassions and mercies eh friends? And I know that most of us would say: same old, same old stuff. And to a certain extent that might be true, but just think that we are still alive and kicking, the marvellous breath of God is still flowing through us! Glory be! That means there are still lots of things for us to do down here on earth, otherwise the Lord would have taken us home. 

And you know that living and working for God is not easy, but it sure is chocked full of excitement and adventure, because we never know what He will do next, where He will send us or what He will allow to come upon us. The only thing we are sure of is that He won’t allow anything untoward to happen to us, and that He will bring us safely through any storms He allows us to go through. 

Remember His awesome promise in First Corinthians… ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtakes) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13). Now that promises a lot my brethren, but it also does not promise what some of us believe and/or expect. 

What we ought to learn from that is not that the Lord will always help us to escape the temptation, but rather He will give us a way to bear up under or endure it. Too many of us just want to escape from anything that’s difficult, but that’s not the way our God operates. Yuh don’t think that Jesus wanted to escape from all the horrific sufferation he went through? He certainly did! 

But the Father asked Him to suffer on our behalf and gave Him the grace, strength and power to bear up and endure the inhumane treatment He underwent for us. The Holy Spirit imbued Him with the power to handle it, and the same Holy Spirit imbues us with power to handle our problems. So, let’s stop thinking about ways to escape problems and instead forge ahead and come up over them through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

As one commentator, Vern Nicolette, puts it in an article on the subject found on the Active Christianity website. ‘In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks about the time of temptation and that God makes a way of escape so we can bear it. How hopeful it is that we have a God who measures each temptation so we can bear it! God has a way of escape for us in every single temptation. The way of escape is to go before the throne of grace and pray for grace in time of need; in other words, before we fall. Then we have God’s promise that we shall receive the grace, which is strength and help at the right time, so we can stand after we have overcome all things.’ 

And the author references two scriptures there; Hebrews 4:16, and Ephesians 6:13. And since I like to spoon feed us, (smile) here are those two scriptures. The first one says: ‘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 the second comforting and strengthening verse of scripture in times of need is this: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:13) 

Yes friends, those are the two basic things we need to withstand the demonic onslaughts that occasionally come against us: the grace and armour of God! And with those working on our behalf, through the empowering Holy Spirit, Satan doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating us! Now here are some more scriptures that will help us in our fight against temptation. Up first is this beautiful scripture: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) I like that verse because it tells me of God’s faithfulness, and that’s something I’ve totally experienced in my own life, so it boosts my spirit. 

And the next scripture comes from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people. It confidently declares: ‘They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot (land) of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth (reach out ) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

And here are two more scriptures to sustain those last two. (smile) Isaiah tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.’ (Is. 14:5) And Cousin Sol confidently proclaims from the wisdom of Proverbs: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger shall fail (wrath shall perish).’ (Prov. 22:8) 

Now that further recalls the rebuke of Eliphaz to his friend Job, where he says: ‘Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils (anger) are they consumed.’ (Job 4:7-9) 

And though Eliphaz didn’t know about Job’s unique situation, he knew from personal experience that we reap what we sow., which is the living truth, just not in Job’s case. So though there may seem to be a lot of problems, temptations and enemy attacks in our lives, let us not forget that the Lord God Almighty has placed within us the power of His Holy Spirit to enable us to fight our earthly battles and be victorious in all of them. But we must get His grace and put on His spiritual armour if we want to win the spiritual battles that take place in our lives. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who we belong to. In strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know Him. For that’s His greatest desire. Much LOVE!

…I have been young…and now I am old…yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken…nor his seed begging bread… (Ps. 37:5)                                                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 September 2021 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.     The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust, my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). 

Oh my fellow believers, once again it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day! So please, let’s heed the call to worship nuh, be it in the newfound freedom of His sanctuary, (smile) as some of the restrictions of the pandemic have been lifted, or through the miracle of modern technology. But come Sunday, worship is a must! And as always, we begin each Sunday session of worship with a song of praise. 

Today’s song is a favourite Christian hymn authored by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in the latter half of the 18th century. And though there is no evidence to back up what’s since become a legend, the story goes that the Reverend ‘drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. 

Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics. The fissure that is believed to have sheltered Toplady is now marked as the “Rock of Ages”, both on the rock itself and on some maps, and is also reflected in the name of a nearby tea shop.’ By now you must know that today we are singing the definitive Christian hymn ‘Rock of Ages.’ And such a moving and powerful song does need such a miraculous background to help us keep the faith. 

So, let’s sing it in harmony and sincerity, in a soulful, up-tempo riddim, because it’s not a sad song, but one of encouragement and safety, one that brings joy to the human soul and spirit. As one strong voice raised to heaven in sacrificial praise: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labours of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die. Wash me, Saviour or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…Let me hide myself in thee…let me hide myself in thee….’ 

And believe me friends, there is no better place to hide in this universe than in Christ Jesus! For He is indeed our refuge and place of safety. Bruh David says it best in Psalm 18 – His prayer of Thanksgiving for deliverance from all his enemies. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust, my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what the song ‘Rock of Ages’ is saying to us. Jesus is our strength, our Saviour, the one to whom we can turn in any situation and receive comfort and safety, encouragement and resuscitation. And the Hymnary.org website lends a valuable insight into the song. It says: ‘While evidence to support that story (of Reverend Toplady’s adventure) is lacking, it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’ 

Wow mih bredrin! What gospel truth that is! And not only Bruh David uses the rock as a metaphor for God; His strength, staying power and comfort, but listen to Moses in his song to the children of Israel. ‘Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine (teaching) shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut. 32:1-4) 

And if any human being should know of God’s strength, truth and righteousness it’s surely Moses who had so many miraculous dealings with the Lord! The prophet Isaiah, another great man of God, also described the Lord in rock-like terms. In his hymn of praise, he declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is. 26:3-4) 

Now friends, if godly men like Moses, Isaiah and Bruh David could consider the Lord as being the Rock of Ages, who are we to say them nay eh? We should be shouting it even louder than them, because we now have Jesus fulfilling the Lord’s promises of safety, succour, refuge and comfort! 

And we’ll close with these uplifting words from the website Godtube, which say: ‘Even when we may feel like we are all alone, remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock Of Ages.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ 

Yes my people, it is indeed a wonderful way to worship! So please, let’s allow all the good things we’ve said today to stir us up nuh, to raise the level of our passion for Christ, so that we can do justice to His name and bring glory to the Father as we ought to. Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be the glory…through Jesus Christ, the Son…                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 September 2021   2 Corinthians 5:9.

2 Corinthians 5:9.     Wherefore we labour (make it our aim), that whether we be present or absent, we may be accepted of (well pleasing to) him. 

Welcome Saturday! We’re surely glad to see you, for it is ever so nice to have a break from the drudgery of the work week. Oh, we do need the work week, but you know too much of anything is no good, (smile) and we all need some rest time to rejuvenate ourselves, so that we can go back out and do good work for Christ again next week…. 

Oh friends, sorry for that break there of about ten minutes. (smile) It was hard, but I finally dragged myself away from some sweet reggae worship music I was listening to, featuring Vincentian Evangelist Bridget Blucher live at the Barbados Gospel Fest in 2005. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning, but yuh know, even when you are doing something that’s good, the enemy can be influencing you to be disobedient, because you are not doing what the Lord wants you to do at that particular time. (smile) And I was trying to run away from writing the Bit, from getting my head around the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. 

Ohhh… it’s so much better to listen to sweet praise and worship music! And hopefully the music lifted my spirits so that I can write a good Bit now. And, by the way, if you ever get a chance to check out the Barbados Gospel Fest held on the island every year, please do so, because it’s said to be one of the best gospel festivals held anywhere in the world. I don’t know what’s happening in these pandemic times, but if life ever straightens out, I am definitely putting it on my calendar. Got to remember to tell the duchess that. I’m sure she won’t say no to some vacation time in B/dos. 

Enough disobedience though, the quotes, they are a-calling. And the first one tells us: ‘If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.’ And that does have a ring of truth to it, especially if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, for in His economy, nothing’s impossible, and He expects His followers to dream big dreams, and ask Him for big, seemingly impossible stuff, so that He can show forth His power and glory to an unbelieving world. 

Wow! The music certainly got me going! And above all else, our God does not want us to compromise our standards and beliefs. Remember we are only in the world, but not of the world. So let’s not limit ourselves, because of fear of failure, of rejection, or just basic anxiety, or even laziness, because if our choice is in line with the will of God, then He will make it come true. And this quote segues nicely into the next one. ‘It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.’ 

Now, not all possibilities are hints from God, but many are, and we must take the time to evaluate them based on His word and will, and if they are indeed hints from him, then we ought to get up off our butts and do them. Why you ask? Because when we stand at the judgment seat of God, and we all will one day, to answer why we didn’t make use of the opportunities He provided us, we won’t be able to say, ‘Oh Lord, I didn’t know it was an opportunity from You.’ 

Now this judgement isn’t whether we go to hell or heaven, in fact we are already in heaven, but it’s to see what rewards we are due, for the work we have done on earth. We won’t be thrown out down to hell, but we will certainly lose possible rewards if we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had here on earth. 

Bruh Paul puts it thus to the Corinthians. ‘We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour (make it our aim), that whether we be present or absent, we may be accepted of (well pleasing to) him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.’ (2 Cor. 5:8-10) Our works shall be tested by fire to see our motives and what our works were built upon. 

Bruh Paul said it this way in his first epistle to the church at Corinth. ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) 

That means my fellow believers, the work, the service we perform for Christ on this here earth is absolutely important. And it must be done with right motives and built on a Christian foundation, with strong building materials to withstand the fire of testing at the judgement seat. And I believe the conclusion of this article from the Grace to You website on the purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ, ought to motivate us. 

It says: ‘The greatest consequence of unfaithfulness here on earth is that it disappoints Christ. First John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” That is a sobering thought–we could be ashamed as we stand before the Lord. At the same time, it should encourage us with the prospect of receiving His lavish rewards if we serve Him faithfully during our time here on earth.’ 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision.’ Now that’s often true, since many times we have most of the things we desire or want, yet we are still discouraged and dissatisfied. And that’s most likely because we are not looking ahead, we are not seeing clearly where we want to go, or more importantly, where the Lord desires us to go. Vision, or the lack thereof, is very important to our sense of satisfaction. That means it’s quite possible to be lacking things, but still be satisfied in our souls because we know we are headed in the right direction, and it’s only a matter of time before things turn out right. 

But it all takes hope, faith and true belief in Christ Jesus! And the last quote tells us that: ‘Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.’ Ah mih people, I don’t know if that is totally true nuh, because there are some circumstances that make life totally unbearable! But then, on the other hand, if we have a purpose and a meaning, like in living for Christ Jesus, we can put up with some terrible circumstances. It’s not easy, and depends so much on our maturity in Christ. 

And we’ll close with a couple of wonderful and encouraging promises of Jesus. The first one says: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And this last one ought to fill us with confidence, as Jesus tell the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) 

Yes friends, Jesus is always with us through the presence of His Holy Spirit, so we don’t have to be anxious or afraid of anything, for what can man do to us eh? Absolutely nothing! And if God be for us, who can be against us? Nobody! Not a single soul! Let’s hear it and believe it nuh, so we can walk with courage! Much LOVE!

…for we walk by faith…not by sight… (2 Cor. 5:7)                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 September 2021 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. 

Friday, oh Friday, why have you taken so long to come eh? Didn’t you see us struggling to get through this wretched week? But Friday was having none of it. Uncharacteristically, he lashed out. ‘What do you miserable humans expect of me eh? I am only a day yuh know, just like the other six. I can’t speed up or slow down or do anything at all, except go at the pace that my Creator set for me. So please stop this foolishness of praying for me to go faster and get here quicker! And don’t you realize, that if I got here any sooner, it also means that Monday, which you hate, will also get here quicker too? 

Chuh! You mortals are so impatient and lazy! You would do anything to get out of a li’l bit of work! Not only that, but all yuh also blooming unfaithful too, because all yuh have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in all yuh, the same Holy Spirit who promised to lead and guide you through all the storms and tough times of life. But all yuh can’t wait for Him to do that. In fact, all yuh don’t want to go through no storms or tough times at all, yuh just want the easy life like a bed of roses. But that’s never going to happen nuh, so you all better band yuh belly and prepare yourselves, because it have plenty rough and tough times coming up ahead! 

And sadly, all that Friday says is true. We feel that because our society has reached a certain level of development, life should keep getting easier and easier. But that’s not the reality of the situation, for the higher you rise, in all walks of life, the more complicated and difficult life actually becomes, You have more stuff to look after and more responsibility to face. Please note that the leaders of any organization or society always have more responsibility than the lower members. It’s their responsibility to keep the society or organization running smoothly and progressing along the stated pathway. And that’s definitely not an easy task! 

So this idea we have of rising higher, so that we can live the easy life, is not truly borne out by life at all, since the higher you rise, the harder you have to work to stay at that height, because a whole lot of other lemmings are fighting for your position and what you have. But as Friday so wisely says, we believers in Christ Jesus have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us to lead and guide and comfort us throughout our earthly journey. But we must listen to Him and take His advice if we are to prosper and enjoy our days down here. Why do you think Jesus placed such emphasis on the Holy Spirit while He was on earth eh? Because He knew its importance. 

While Jesus himself could only be in one place at one time, the Holy Spirit could be all about, all the time, dwelling and working simultaneously in each believer’s heart. As He told the disciples: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. 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. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) What a wonderful promise my fellow believers! 

And before Jesus ascended back to heaven He met with the disciples and ‘commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me. For John (the Baptist) truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence… But ye shall receive power after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.’ (Acts 1:4-5, 8) 

And so said, so done! We all know the Holy Ghost came upon the believers on that fateful Pentecost day, as they sat in the upper room. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘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 2:2-4)

Yes friends, our mighty God doesn’t do things in a puny way! (smile) And since that day of Pentecost, ALL believers have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Christ, enabling them to do and see things that unbelievers cannot do or see. And that’s why our lives can be better and more joyful than the heathen… But we must make the Holy Spirit a major part of our daily living for that to happen, because it does so many useful and wonderful things for us. 

In a nutshell, it comforts us when we are lonely, and helps us to comfort others in their rough times, it leads and guides us when we don’t know where to turn or go, intercedes for us, or reads our hearts when we can’t find words to communicate with our heavenly Father. It’s exactly what it’s called, Our Helper! But we must allow it to help us and not ignore all its warnings and directions like so many of us do. 

And now it’s time to ask the Holy Spirit to help us sincerely come to the Lord in prayer, through our Friday Chant. So as one voice, with the Spirit’s awesome intercession, let’s pray. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now let’s not forget, that the answers to our prayers will depend on the sincerity of our motives, and the way we keep our promises. Much LOVE!

…there’s no better helper or assistant than…the Holy Spirit of God…                                                                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 September 2021 John 8:12.

John 8:12.     I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh no friends, it did not clear up nicely in my area yesterday. In fact, it rained all day and during most of the night. But thankfully it seems to have stopped now and the sun is poking it’s bright and beautiful face out through the remaining dark clouds. And that’s how our God, our Jesus works in our lives; when the rain and dark clouds threaten to consume us, if we just keep our hope alive, we will soon see the power and light and LOVE of Jesus begin to shine through all the darkness that threatens to swallow us up without a prayer. 

But we always have a prayer, and when we use it, our Jesus will turn our darkness into light. Yes, He will turn it around with His majestic power and glory. And why do I think that eh? Because I’ve seen him do it numerous times in my life and the lives of others who sincerely believe in Him. And if you know His Word, you will know this major pronouncement He made many years ago while dwelling here on earth. He truthfully declared: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

And if you take the leap of faith and trust Him on that matter, then you will see much more light in your life than darkness. For He is faithful that promised! But if you want to see light, the light of Christ, flooding your soul, life and spirit, then you have to take Him up on His promise and lay your burdens at the foot of His cross. And it’s not a promise that was just made in Jesus’ time, but long, long ago, the Lord promised it through the prophet Isaiah, when he prophesied: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

And that light was the promise of Jesus coming to save the world from the sin and darkness that contaminated it. The prophet Malachi also told us about the coming of Light when he declared on the Lord’s behalf: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves). And ye shall tread (trample) down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. 4:2-3) 

And the Father kept His promise when He sent Jesus to earth to save our souls from death and eternal separation from Him, by paying the price of our sins on the cross of Calvary and defeating hell, death and the grave when He rose triumphantly from the bowels of hell on that glorious Easter morn some two thousand years ago! Now that momentous occasion birthed the presence of the Light of Jesus in our lives, where, if we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, to help dispel the darkness of this world, and we will forever live in His glorious Light! 

As John so eloquently and truthfully says in the beginning of his gospel: ‘All things were made by him (Jesus); and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:3-5) Yes friends, the darkness of this world cannot comprehend, apprehend or take hold of the Light that’s Jesus Christ! And there are so many important scriptures that deal with light and Jesus being light, that I don’t know what to choose. (smile) So let’s choose a few random ones to refresh our memories. 

Hear Jesus to the Jewish rulers of His time. ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.’ (John 12:46-47) Oh my people, Jesus didn’t come to judge, but to save, so please let’s remember that nuh. 

Now here is this most appropriate scripture, as Jesus says: ‘And this is the condemnation, that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, less his deeds should be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.’ (John 3:19-21) That was true in Jesus’ time, and it’s still true in our time. Evil doers hate the light because they don’t want their evil deeds to be exposed. 

And unfortunately, right now, the evil deeds in our society seem to be outweighing the good and truthful ones, that’s why so many of us are hiding from the light in the darkness. But friends, please remember that the darkness doesn’t hamper the sight of our God, for as Bruh David says in Psalm 139: ‘Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee (is not dark to thee); but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps. 139:12) So friends, trying to hide in the darkness from God is useless, as trying to hide from Him period! 

Then listen to some more useful words on light from the psalms. Bruh David declares in Psalm 18: ‘For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high (haughty) looks. For thou wilt light my candle (lamp): the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through (can run against) a troop; and by my God have I leaped (can leap) over a wall.’ (Ps. 18:27-29) And if that didn’t do anything for you, then listen to this most mighty verse of scripture from Psalm 119: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) 

Yes friends, the word of God indeed lights our way as we walk through this dark and sinful world. And if we are wise, we will take it to heart and practice it sincerely as these words of Jesus so wisely advised. ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s the crux of the problem right there my fellow saints; we must be children of light. Jesus was the light of the world while He was here on earth, but after He went back to heaven, He declared that His followers, that’s us, are now the light of the world. (Matt. 5:14) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians: ‘For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light.’ (Eph. 5:8) Yes, my fellow believers, that’s exactly how we ought to walk in this dark and evil world, ‘as children of light,’ so that we can fulfill Jesus’ desire. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

And the wonderful thing about our Lord and Saviour is that He doesn’t just tell us what to do, but He also gives us the wherewithal to do it. Consequently, we have his Word, His Holy Spirit and numerous other tools that we call our Thursday Blessings that enable us to shine brightly in this dark world. So please, let’s declare those blessings now nuh, that we can invoke them in our spirits. 

As one voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and shine brightly for Jesus, by sharing those blessings just as generously with others as he shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to shine brightly for Jesus…in this dark world…that’s the believer’s bounden duty…                                                                                                                         

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2021 Psalm 3:5.

Psalm 3:5.     I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

Well, it looks like another wet and cloudy morning. But let’s hope that it eventually clears up nicely like it did yesterday. And even if it doesn’t, we are still going to enjoy this brand new day in God’s ever-moving and ever-LOVING universe, because we know that whatever happens, our great God is always in control and won’t allow anything untoward to happen to us, His most wonderful creation! That’s why we most sincerely declare: ‘All power and glory to the amazing God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who gave us this remarkable day to rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Yeh friends, we might as well rejoice and be glad yes, because being sad and miserable won’t improve things any, and even in tough times, a sense of joy, safety and comfort always comes over us when we think on the greatness and wonder of our God. No wonder, Bruh David, though he was running from his rebellious son Absalom, could confidently declare: ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:5-6) 

Now that’s what you call trust in the Lord! And in Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God, he ups the ante when he concludes: ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:7-8) And since we all know that Bruh David had a lot of enemies, including King Saul, and his son Absalom, and spent much time running from them, he must have found something real special in holding on with such trust to the God of his forefathers. 

So why can’t we, who don’t go through half the problems he went through, find and exhibit that same trust and surrender in the same good and mighty and trustworthy God eh? Maybe it’s because we fall into this category: ‘For there is no faithfulness (uprightness) in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness (destruction); their throat is an open sepulchre (tomb); they flatter with their tongue.’ (Ps. 5:9) 

That recalls a similar remark Jesus made to the church leaders of His day. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres (whitewashed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones. Even so ye outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:27-28) Yes my brethren, if we compromise our beliefs and have evil and ungodliness seated in our hearts, then we will never find that sense of peace and joy in God that true believers find, despite their troubles. 

Listen to how Bruh David ends Psalm 5 nuh. ‘Destroy thou them (pronounce them guilty), O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.’ (Ps. 5:10) And yuh know friends, I believe that’s exactly what the Lord is doing right now, allowing us to fall by our own counsel, for we have indeed rebelled against Him! The kind of negative stuff that’s happening all over our world could not just be pure happenstance or coincidence. 

The Lord must have a hand or even a finger somewhere in there, for He will not allow us to continue forever in rebellion against Him. Yes, He is long-suffering, graceful, merciful, and all that, but every rope has an end, and I think He is finally coming to end of His rope, to the end of His patience with a most sinful and rebellious creation, who are trying to kick Him out of the universe He created and still controls. Just like the foolish archangel Lucifer, that’s Satan, tried to do, but unfortunately found himself kicked out of heaven, down to the raging fires of hell instead. 

And all those who unwisely take up Satan’s fight will end up the same way; eternally separated from His Maker, to endure hell fire and damnation! However, as Bruh David pleads: ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that LOVE thy name, be joyful in thee. For thou Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps. 5:11-12) 

And that’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. The Lord will not allow His chosen ones, those who put their sincere trust in Him, to suffer unnecessarily. Anything He brings us to, or allows us to go through, always has a good purpose in His plan for our lives. Life can’t be always a bed of roses, sometimes we must feel the thorns, for it’s in those thorny times that we grow and mature in our faith. 

Some believe that once they become Christians, life will always be sweet, wonderful and uncomplicated. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth, for working and living for Christ is no easy task in this evil and ungodly world, and Jesus promised that we will have problems along the way. ‘In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And as Job so wisely said to his wife while undergoing the torment of boils, the loss of his family and earthly wealth. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10) 

Ah mih people, we all like the easy life, but the easy life is only a figment of our imagination, for since the first man sinned, calamity has been a part of earthly life, and will continue to be such, until Jesus comes back to rule in the new earth and the new heaven. So, let’s stop believing all the foolishness, the lies, the deceit and disinformation that’s currently floating around our world nuh and instead put our sincere trust in the Word of God, that will have us smiling and joyful at the end, though we endure hardship and adversity during the journey. 

And for those of us who have wisely decided to sincerely live for Christ, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as we said earlier, if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. But we have to stick it out! Much LOVE!

…sin’s joy lasts only for a fleeting moment…but the joy of righteousness in Christ lasts forever…                                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 September 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? 

It’s a wet and windy Tuesday morning in my area, but thankfully, Almighty God is still in charge of it all! (smile) The election is over, bar the final counting of the votes, and it seems like we are right back to where we started, another Liberal minority government. Yes, lots of money and time spent to bring us back to the status quo. And it doesn’t even seem like the number of seats won has changed much for any party. 

However, this election has proven the vast differences in opinion on many subjects that do exist in the land. From the far right to the far left and in between, they are now here, and everybody wants their voices heard and their matters to be at the forefront of the nation. And the bitterness and anger that’s surfaced during this pandemic and the unwanted election is truly surprising! I don’t believe we have ever heard this amount of vitriolic rhetoric spouted in this fair land. But I guess that’s how it is all over the world, so why should we expect to be different eh? 

And sadly, with all the voices being raised in anger and anxiety, none are being raised loudly in the most important need of our society, that’s the lack of God in it! Yes friends, our many problems stem basically from the lack of God in our world, in the institutions of our society and our everyday lives. As the song says, ‘We need Jesus now more than ever, Cause we’re sailing in truly stormy weather.’ And most likely we will all agree that we are indeed sailing in stormy weather, but not on how to calm that stormy weather. 

But let me put it to us this way nuh, who has ever actually calmed stormy weather eh? ONLY ONE MAN! In the long and varied history of mankind, only one man has ever been said to calm the wind and sea – His name is JESUS CHRIST! So, if He is the only man who’s ever actually calmed the winds and the stormy seas, actually spoken to them and they listened, why in heaven’s name are we trying so desperately to get Him out of our society and our lives eh? One would think that we would be begging Him to come into our lives and our society and calm it and us! 

And if you don’t believe that Jesus calmed the stormy weather, then listen to how the Book of Truth, the Book of God’s word, the Bible, tells it nuh. This particular evening, after a preaching session, Jesus got into a boat with the disciples to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. While on their way, a great storm arose. The Good Book says: ‘And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full (already filling). And he (Jesus) was in the hinder (back) part of the ship (stern), asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master (Teacher), carest thou not that we perish. 

And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:37-41) 

Oh friends, that was the very human and also very godly Son of God, Jesus Christ in the flesh, come to earth to save mankind! And though He is back in heaven now, He’s still bent on saving us, through His Holy Spirit that dwells in believers and through His own intercession as our High Priest in heaven with the Father! But nothing will happen until we come to him, develop a respectful faith in His LOVE and awesome God-given abilities! And yuh know what, I just watched a video done by the Church of the Latter Day Saints portraying that trip of Jesus across the sea with the disciples, and it certainly brought the whole story home to me in a more vivid sense. 

I think we should all watch something like that, to get a more vivid reality of the scene. And I’m chuckling here because it also reminded me of one fateful night, some years ago, when I was also on a boat in the middle of Lake Ontario one evening and a major storm blew up. Our little boat, though it must have been somewhat bigger than the one Jesus rode in, was constantly tossed and buffeted by the strong wind and raging sea. It would ride up the side of ten-foot waves, then crash loudly and very violently back into the trough of water. 

That certainly thought me one thing, the meaning of ‘the shivering of the timbers.’ I had always read about it, but that day I actually experienced it. And let me tell you, it was not a very nice and comfy feeling. Thus, the fearful situation had all of the half dozen men in that boat,  praying like we’ve never prayed before. And the fact that all of them, except the captain and I, were nicely inebriated, didn’t help matters either. It only made the arguments and advice more heated and contentious. Let me tell you, it was a very harrowing experience, and even if Jesus had been there in the flesh with us, we would still have feared for our lives. Though possibly not as much. So, I don’t know if we can blame the disciples so much for their fear. 

Now here are some excerpts form an interesting article on the ‘Significance of Jesus Calming the Storm,’ by Danielle Bernock, found on the Christianity.com website. She says: ‘The significance of Jesus calming the storm is pertinent to what’s happening in our world today and is evidence of God’s LOVE for us. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our lives. We’re flooded by numerous types of storms daily. These storms are both internal and external. The intense surges of emotion within us are due to our humanity while the chaotic circumstances around us are beyond our control. Right now, many can relate to the disciples’ emotions when Jesus calmed the storm… 

There have been many epidemics and even pandemics throughout history, and now we have many skilled scientists in the world. So, it seemed that we were prepared for COVID-19. But as country after country and state after state go into lockdown, the same fear and panic the disciples’ experienced looms over us. So, when things come upon us suddenly, we find out what’s in our hearts. Like the disciples, fear is coming out of many people’s hearts. It’s an emotion common to being human. One might say that the disciples were just being human. 

All of us during this pandemic are feeling our humanity deeply as fear sweeps across the world like a dark cloud. But Jesus was human too. He often took time away to refresh. During the storm, Jesus was sleeping because he was exhausted from ministry… Jesus knew he was on a mission of mercy and that the Father was faithful to get him there, so he went to sleep. It was such a deep sleep that the storm didn’t disturb him… A good question for us to ask ourselves as COVID-19 rages is, where is our faith? 

The disciples spent a lot of time with Jesus and saw him perform many miracles. You would think that they’d have a lot of faith. But in their humanity, it became evident they had more faith that the storm would destroy them than in Jesus saving them. Jesus may have rebuked the disciples for their weak faith, but he didn’t abandon them to let them drown. Instead, he calmed the storm and then continued to teach them who he was and demonstrated what it was to have faith in God. Do we have more faith in the pandemic than in the mercy and grace of God? There is not a disease that Jesus was unable to heal.’ 

Yes friends, those are good words and ideas for us to ponder on this fateful September morning and see exactly how our faith stacks up against that of the disciples so long ago. Hopefully, we won’t have Jesus asking us: ‘Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith.’ But for those of us who are working on increasing our faith, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are, proudly declaring (yeah!!!) to whom we belong. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and keep that promise! Much LOVE!

…where true faith lives…crummy fear can’t get in… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 September 2021 Psalm 47:7.

Psalm 47:7.     For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. 

It’s a beautiful morning, a wonderful Monday, Election day in the land! So, despite our many problems and differences of opinions, please be sure to get out and cast your vote, for it’s your biggest responsibility in our democratic way of life. And if you don’t vote, you are not doing your democratic duty.  And if enough of us default on our duty, it can eventually lead to the downfall of the system. But we know that won’t happen, because we are all good and worthwhile citizens and take our duties seriously. 

The problem is that we seem to have adopted the American way of campaigning, where it’s all about spending large sums of money on campaigns and slinging mud. The campaigns have become so nasty and personal, rather than concentrating on party-based promises, that it’s turning off a lot of good folks, who are not accustomed to such tactics, and don’t like them. And that’s exactly why we must get out there and vote and let our displeasure be known, vote for those who we believe will give us the most righteous and godly government. 

And yes, I know that politics is looked upon as a godless and evil occupation, but that’s not totally true, for if we elect godly people, most of them will do the right thing. And that’s where the power of our democracy lies, in the power of the ballot box! The only problem there is to find enough godly people to elect. (smile) But if we believe that God is still the sovereign ruler of the universe, then we will have hope that things will get better rather than worse. That brings us to Psalm 93 – subtitled ‘The Lord is clothed with majesty.’ Exactly what we were just talking about. 

So let’s pray it together nuh. ‘The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself; the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved (shaken). Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted (raised) up, O Lord, the floods have lifted (raised) up their voice; the floods lift (raise) up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh (adorns) thy house, O Lord, for ever.’ (Ps. 93:1-5) 

And all God’s children said a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ Yes friends, our God is still as great as He ever was, and will continue to be the sovereign ruler of His universe! No ifs, ands or buts about it! And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘Psalm 93. This second psalm of the divine kingdom (cf. 47; 96-99) speaks prophetically of the time when the Lord will rule on the earth in the person of the Messiah. The Lord’s kingship is described (vs. 1-2), revealed in nature (vs. 3-4) and present in His house, the temple (vs. 5).’ 

All those psalms mentioned above deal with the Lord’s sovereignty and the Messiah’s reign over the earth. So, let’s hear a few verses from Psalm 47 nuh. ‘O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible (awesome); he is a great king over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he LOVED.   Selah. 

God is gone up (ascended) with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen (gentiles): God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.’ (Ps. 47:1-9) 

That’s all gospel truth my people! And if we say we believe in Almighty God, then we ought to believe all of that! And we do have the fulfillment of the first part of the promise; that’s the first coming of the Messiah, Christ Jesus, and we are eagerly awaiting His Second Coming to take us home with Him to those magnificent mansions in the sky. So we believers should be all filled with tons of hope and faith, bursting with joy, because we know that our great and wonderful God keeps all His promises. 

Consequently, this fateful Monday morning, where we are beset by numerous problems, let’s not worry ourselves about the outcome of the elections or any of the stuff that’s causing us anxiety. Instead, let’s do as the Lord has commanded us, take our problems to Him in prayer. In strong and sincere voice then, let’s raise our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Let’s not forget though, that it all hinges on our sincere obedience to God’s divine will. Much LOVE!

…the earth is the Lord’s…and the fulness thereof… the world…and they that dwell therein… (Ps. 24:1))                                                                                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 September 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.      Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Ah mih people, how quickly these days are passing! Would you believe it’s Sunday already? Didn’t we just celebrate it a few days ago? (smile) We might have. But it’s time to gather for worship once again on the Lord’s day, be it physically in His sanctuary, or at home through technological means. And today we will sing a song of hope, that was born out of a sorrowful life. The song is titled ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus,’ and it’s the indisputable truth, but the life of its author Joseph Mendicott Scriven (1819-1886) was not a happy one. Instead, it was filled with many trials and misfortunes that eventually brought him to his knees. 

The hymnary.org website tells us that Scriven was an Irish immigrant to Canada. Before he came here, apparently poor health caused him to give up his dream of a military career, and then his fiancée died in a drowning accident in 1844. He moved to Ontario, Canada soon thereafter and became a teacher, but misfortune followed him when his new fiancée died after a short illness in 1855. Poor fellow! And that seemed to be the last straw, for after that his life was never stable, and his eccentricities alienated him from his neighbours. 

They say, as a member of the Plymouth Brethren, he went about doing menial tasks for the poor and disabled, trying to live as literally as possible according to the Sermon on the Mount, and during his remaining years obviously needed the solace of the song he had written. But unfortunately, it never seemed to have cured his depression, thus it’s unknown whether he committed suicide or accidentally drowned in Rice Lake in 1886. But despite that sorrowful life, Scriven did leave us a gem of a song. 

And it’s worth noting that many of the wonderful songs we sing today came from adversity in the lives of the authors, who took a moment to pen their thoughts, their griefs, their sorrows, and also their hopes in Almighty God, so that we who came after them would have a means of solace in our time of misfortune and grief. So let’s pay some belated homage to Joseph Scriven right now nuh, as we sing those haunting but oh so true words he wrote in his time of need, so long ago. In soulful harmony, let’s raise our voices in sincere sacrificial praise. 

‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! – Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer! – 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge– take it to the Lord in prayer! Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Yes, What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? It most certainly is! We have a wonderful friend in Jesus, and an awesome privilege of taking all our problems to Him in prayer! Wow! The problem though is that we don’t take those amazing benefits of being in communion with Jesus as seriously as we ought to. We either feel that we can handle our problems ourselves, or that Jesus doesn’t have time or the desire to deal with our matters. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my people. Jesus has the time, and also the inclination to deal with any and all problems we might have. 

Why do you think He offered us the Great Invitation eh? ‘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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Now does that sound like someone who doesn’t have the time or the inclination to help His followers? Obviously not! But ofttimes it’s our foolish and stubborn pride that keeps us from going to Jesus for solace and help in our time of need. 

And even in olden times the Lord encouraged His people to come to Him. Hear these words from the prophet Jeremiah when the Lord promised a glorious return to the captives from Babylon. ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and might things, which thou knowest not.’ (Jer. 33:3) Yes friends, from the beginning of time the Lord has always been entreating and encouraging us to call on Him, since He is our refuge and fortress and strong tower. 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it on the Lord’s behalf nuh. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. Behold I have graven (inscribed) thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.’ (Is. 49:15-16) How much more encouragement do we need to go to God in sincere prayer eh when troubles befall us eh? Jesus engraved us in the palms of His hand when He bore the nails in them on the cross. That’s another promise kept! 

And hear what Moses told the children of Israel before he died. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) But that’s exactly why the Israelites spent forty years wandering around in the desert; they were scared and afraid and didn’t believe the promises of God, even after he had parted the Red Sea and allowed them to cross over on dry land, then drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. 

Ah my fellow saints, we have it so good it’s not funny! But sadly, we don’t truly believe it, and thus we can’t truly appreciate it, otherwise we wouldn’t be having all this fussing and fighting amongst ourselves and turning away from Jehovah God. And we shall close with these wonderful words of promise from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and a fortress. 

The psalmist ends it with God speaking. ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him. I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. he shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life (length of days) will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

What more can I say eh friends? All the cards are in our hands. Remember we need God much more than He needs us. It’s up to us to go to Him now, for He has already come to us. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t believe the promises of God…what can you believe eh…                                                                                                                  

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