Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     ​But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Here we go again friends, time to sing and praise our wonderful God in Sunday fellowship! There’s nothing better than that! Only problem is we still can’t gather all together in one place and do it. But that’s just a minor setback since those few of us who want to go to church now can, and the rest of us will just continue what we’ve been doing for the last five or six months, worshipping together virtually. How can they stop us when the Lord God is our mainstay eh? No way! 

But enough talk, let’s get to some praise and worship nuh. And today’s hymn is a very old but still popular one, titled ‘At the Cross.’ It was written by one of the great hymn writers, Isaac Watts (1674-1748), and some 100 years later the American choir leader Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) added the chorus and the inspiring tune that we now sing it to. According to one commentator, the chorus might have caused Watts hair to stand on end. (smile) And though not much seems to be known about the background story to this song, it does seem as though it inspired another great hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. 

According to her:”It was on November 2, 1850, that I was gloriously converted while the congregation sang the grand old consecration hymn of Isaac Watts. When they reached the 3rd line of the last verse: ‘Here, Lord, I give myself away,’ I surrendered myself to my Savior, and my soul was flooded with celestial light. I sprang to my feet shouting, ‘Hallelujah!’ I gave my heart to Him, and what a Joy I received!” – from the website hymnal-net. Just one more mysterious way in which our Lord moves in the lives of His people; inspiring Fanny Crosby with the words of Isaac Watts. 

So let’s sing it now in an easy rocking, soulful style, and let it inspire us to keep the joy of our Saviour in our hearts and lives. And to help us do that, we’ll begin with the chorus which rocks more than the verse. (smile) (Chorus: ‘At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? 

(Chorus…) Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine – And bathed in its own blood – While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Chorus…) Was it for sins that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Chorus…) Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut His glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man, His creature’s sin. 

(Chorus…) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears. Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes to tears. (Chorus…) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I’m happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that we are indeed happy after singing those wonderful lyrics of absolute truth! If you’re not, then you had better check your faith, because with all that Christ did for us, when He sacrificed Himself on that old wooden cross at Calvary, believers ought to be not merely happy but exceedingly ecstatic! Remember what the Good Book says? ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Can you imagine that mih people, while we were the enemy of God, He sent His only Son to die in our place! That means we should be eternally grateful! And hear this nuh, while researching the song, I came upon the video of another song also titled ‘At the Cross,’ this one done by the Hillsong group, and brother if yuh see the bruised and battered state Jesus was in while dragging his cross up to Calvary, how he kept falling down under its weight and unwieldiness, then when they pounded the nails in his hands and lifted the cross up and dropped it in the hole…Steups! 

I couldn’t handle it nuh. I had to turn away. And no doubt by what we read in the Good Book, Jesus was in a real beat up state, all for our benefit. So if we can’t appreciate His supreme sacrifice on our part, then something really wrong with us yes. 

And Peter tells us in no uncertain terms, when he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. ‘For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: 

Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 3:20-25) 

Yes mih people, if anybody should know about Christ is Peter, who walked with Him for three years on this earth and was an eye-witness to all he’s written. And if it doesn’t move you, or you just don’t believe, then there’s no more that I can say, because following Jesus is a personal decision. And I’m going to follow Him, to the best of my ability, hoping that the members of my household will do likewise. Much LOVE!

…Christians should be the happiest people on the planet…because heaven is eternal their home… 

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