Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

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