Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2020 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.     For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)

Let’s come together this Sunday morning my fellow believers to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise nuh! Yes, let’s come together on this Day of our Lord, whether it’s in a sparsely populated sanctuary with those few souls physically distanced, or by virtual technological means, for coming together is a must one day a week in keeping with the Lord’s command. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And by hook or by crook, we going to do just that. (smile) That’s the awesome power we believers have when we join up with our great God: nothing – no pandemic, or nobody – no government, can keep us from worshipping Him if we choose to do so. 

And today we going to open our worship with a wonderful song of praise, though some might consider it somewhat contentious, or if it’s even appropriate to sing in church, not because of the song itself, but because of the artist who sings it. The name of the song is ‘Buried Alive,’and it’s done by the Jamaican Reggae artist, Buju Banton taken from his Upside Down 2020 album. And yes, the same Buju Banton who was released from prison last year, and for the record is now more popular than ever. 

Now I know some of us are already turning up our noses and feeling mightily disturbed by the idea, but please remember who wrote the song ‘Amazing Grace’ that we consider such a splendid song and very worthy of being sung in church. It was the notorious slave trader John Newton, who transported our forefathers from freedom in Africa to slavery in the Western Hemisphere. It’s only after he got religion that he wrote that song. So for all we know Buju might have also gotten religion, and deserves a second chance, just like John Newton, who even became a minister after his slave trading days were done. 

So let’s not judge Buju, remembering Jesus’ words: ‘Judge not (do not condemn), that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt. 7:1-5) 

And now that we’ve cleared up that li’l matter, (smile) let’s get on with the singing nuh. It’s a nice, simple, rocking reggae tune. I sent it to some of you by what’s app yesterday, so you should know it, but you can also look it up on you tube. So with voices strong, in perfect harmony, let’s sing these words of second chance, of forgiveness and thanks, with sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. Buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating. 

Now all this time… I’ve been blind… only running against the wind. Friends of mine …pass with time… After living a life of sin. Now many give up, many give in. It’s my determination to win. I survived, the worst of times, I survived. Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. 

Oh, they made a ditch for one, but there would be two, In their attempt to out my life, The wicked things they do. But Jah made I brave, and I can’t care the grave, Oh no, The Lord is my salvation, Of whom shall I fear? Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. 

Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating… (One more time) Yes, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…’ 

Oh mih people, those words are so true of all of us! Every day we wake up alive, we must be thankful, because there’s a reason for it, or else the Lord would just take us home during the night hours. That brings to mind Jeremiah’s words on the Lord’s behalf. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)’ (Jer. 29:11) That means the Lord has a good plan for our lives if He leaves us alive here on planet earth, and it’s our bounden duty to find it, through prayer and reading His Word, and then live it to the best of our ability. 

Like the song says, we’ve been given another day, a second chance, so there must be a reason for it, and though we don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, we have to take hold of the reins and stay with Jesus, stand strong with Him, have that determination to win! For as they say, once there’s life, there’s hope. And if we have hope, then anything’s possible. 

And that’s exactly how we have to look at the current state of affairs of our world; we’re alive, God is still on His throne, in control of things, and He has a special plan for our lives, not calamity, which seems to be pressing in around us right now, but a future and a hope and we’ll survive the worst of times. So please let’s remember that awesome word ‘HOPE,’ which if held long and strong enough morphs into this other word ‘FAITH,’ with which we can move mountains in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me… (Phil. 4:13) 

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