Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2021 Philippians 2:11.

Philippians 2:11.    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

​​Gather round friends, gather round! It’s time to give thanks and praise to our magnificent and magnanimous God on His special day, Sunday, when He rested from all His labour, having created this wonderful universe and all therein in six days. Bless His holy name my faithful brethren, as we get together to hear His word and offer up songs of praise and worship. And yes, we are still gathering by technological means, although we are now allowed a few more people in the physical church, but it’s still not enough to warrant opening up. 

And today, we are going to open the proceedings with a hymn by John Newton. Yes, the same John Newton (1725-1807) who wrote the awesome hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ and several hundred others, after being a slave trader then finding grace and salvation with Almighty God. The website, offers us this brief insight into Newton’s life. They say he “was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven.

His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton’s conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. 

In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide-surveyor in Liverpool, England, Newton came under the influence of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley and began to study for the ministry. He was ordained in the Church of England and served in Olney (1764-1780) and St. Mary Woolnoth, London (1780-1807). His legacy to the Christian church includes his hymns as well as his collaboration with William Cowper (PHH 434) in publishing Olney Hymns (1779), to which Newton contributed 280 hymns, including “Amazing Grace.” 

Ah friends, that just goes to show the power of God’s grace. He can take the biggest sinner and turn him into the greatest saint! And although we often try to run from Him, when He’s really ready for us, we don’t stand a chance! (smile) And I can tell you that from personal experience. Yuh see who the Lord put Newton with in his latter years; the abolitionist William Wilberforce. That had Newton plugging to abolish the very same abominable trade in which he was previously involved. And then the Wesley brothers, amongst the founders of the Methodist Church, and finally turning him into a priest and hymn writer. 

So my people, let’s wake up and acknowledge that it’s futile to run from God, but ever so wise and sensible to run to His always open and welcoming arms, as we sing this other wonderful song penned by John Newton, another of our church favourites, titled ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.’ And does it ever sound sweet mih bredrin. Therefore, let’s just take a moment and roll it around our tongues nuh, as we quietly and proudly say: ‘Jesus…Jesus.’ (smile) Yes, it’s a name that just trips off the tongue my people! 

Now, finally, let’s sing; in a medium tempo, with great gusto and sincerity, let’s raise our harmonious voices to high heaven. ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest.

 Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place. My never-failing treasury, filled. With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend. My Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, My Way, my end, toaccept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your love proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Oh friends, only the amazing and awesome grace of God can cause a human being to write such authentic meaningful and true words! And without a doubt, there’s no other name in the universe that can do or accomplish the things that the name of Jesus can. As Newton so eerily writes: ‘It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest.’ 

Wow! Which other name in this universe can do all of that eh friends? None whatsoever! That’s because Jesus is all these other things to us: ‘the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,’ There again my people, no other person in this whole wide world can fulfill all those aspects of a human’s life. Only JESUS! 

Why, you ask? Because He poured out His sinless lifeblood for us on the cross at Calvary, to pay for our sins, showing the wonderful LOVE He bore towards us. And when He rose triumphant from the grave, then He most generously invited us to come to Him for rest and solace, safety, grace and mercy, salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven for all eternity. Now why wouldn’t I jump for joy when I hear that sweet and beautiful name of Jesus eh?

Oh friends, I want to quote some scripture to back up all I’ve said, but time and space will only allow me to do a few. So here goes. Right up front, Jesus lets us know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Right away friends, we see that to get eternal life, one must believe in Jesus, otherwise, no dice! 
And if you did not get that, then He clears it up even further with these immortal words: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) That sets the stage right there; nothing to do with God is possible without belief in Christ Jesus! 

Then we all know how Bruh David characterized Him: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps. 23:1-6) 

That’s simply talking about the perfect shepherd my people! And finally, as to Jesus’ glory, Bruh Paul had this to say: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth.And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’(Phil. 2:9-11) 

What else can I say eh friends? Jesus is the Greatest; El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And if you don’t know that already and sincerely acknowledge it, then please do so as soon as possible, otherwise, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!
. sweeten a sour soul…just call out…Jesus…Jesus… 

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