Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2021 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.     ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

So here we go again, another Sunday of virtual gathering. But the important thing is that we gather, not the how or where we do it. The Lord just wants us to gather however we can and celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us this past week, and renew our confidence that He will keep on looking after us in the upcoming week. So, if the earthly powers that be say we can’t gather in large groups under one roof or mango tree, then, being the ingenious people we are, we will gather virtually. (smile) We can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, but we can do most of the other things necessary for worship. 

As always then, let’s begin with a song of praise, something to lively up both heaven and earth, this cloudy spring morning. (smile) Today’s hymn was written by British Baptist minister, Edward Mote (1797-1874) and it’s one of our favourites. Oh brother, do we have many favourites! And why not eh, since they are all celebrating the goodness and glory of our great God? 

Anyway, enough suspense, our hymn is titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less.’ And is that ever the awesome truth friends! Our hope is indeed built on Christ Jesus and NO ONE, or nothing else. So let’s sing it like we truly mean it nuh, in harmony, loud and clear, at a nice up-tempo speed. 

Altogether now: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

(Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

What a magnificent rendition my people! All heaven was singing along with us, including the Father. He’s usually the first to join in whenever anyone is singing praises to His awesome Son, for He’s a very proud Father! What makes me chuckle though, is how Jesus sits there on His throne, quietly tapping His feet and nodding His head to the music, with that shy, boyish smile on His handsome face, somewhat embarrassed by all the praise. 

But that’s why we LOVE and adore Him so much. Despite all the honour and glory the Father has bestowed on Him, all the accolades He’s received down through the ages, He’s still the same down to earth, unassuming person He’s always been. That doesn’t mean to say He’s a pushover, as the wicked will find out when He comes back the second time, but He’s like the real great men of earth who know their power and don’t need to flaunt it. 

And what was Brother Mote trying to tell or instill in us when he wrote those wonderful words so long ago eh? I think it’s basically that Jesus is the everlasting hope, the assurance, the refuge, the best place to find solace and comfort in this crazy, sinful world. And that’s the indisputable truth friends! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can sincerely offer us the comfort that we so desperately need in these rather trying and difficult times. Remember His Great Invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) Well He can truly do that! 

Furthermore, His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, paid the price for our sins, and thus puts us in His eternal debt. Oh friends, the blood of Jesus is ever so powerful, it enacted the New Covenant and made blood sacrifices obsolete. His death stopped us from being slaves to sin and Satan, and His resurrection caused us to have new life in the family of God. Yes friends, Jesus is the best foundation on which to build one’s life. Brother Mote said it nicely in our song: ‘Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r.’ What better foundation to build on eh my brethren? NONE! 

Jesus said it this way, when He spoke about the two foundations on which we can build our lives. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:24-27) 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word Therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counselor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings.” 

Now, we all know that the most important aspect of building anything is the foundation. If the foundation is strong, whatever edifice we erect will stand the test of time and nature. But if the foundation is not up to scratch, then the edifice will eventually tumble down when it comes up against powerful forces. Likewise, in life, there is no doubt that Christ is the best foundation for us to build our lives on, for He is strong and steady, steadfast and solid, impenetrable and immovable, like a rock; the rock of all ages! Much LOVE!

…what’s your foundation built on…the rock…or the shifting sand…  

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

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