Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 February 2022 Matthew 10:31.

Matthew 10:31.      Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Oh my faithful saints of Christ, this Sunday morning, please, let’s do as the psalmist advised. Let’s ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Therefore enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps 100:1-5)) 

Yes friends, we could not begin our day of worship with a better introduction, because the earth is the Lord’s and all therein and we desperately need to give Him sincere thanks and praise for all the good things He’s done, is doing, and will continue to do on our behalf. And today we have a marvellous gospel song to sing written in 1905 by lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. It’s the favourite hymn titled ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

Now before we sing it, let’s hear the inspiration for this amazing song. The author Civilla Martin says that in the spring of 1905, they were visiting a couple, the Doolittle’s in Elmira, New York. The wife had been bedridden for nearly twenty years, and the husband was a paraplegic who got around in a wheelchair. But despite their afflictions they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. 

On that particular day while visiting, Mr. Martin commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for their secret to such blessed faith. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ Wow! Wish we could all have such simple but extraordinary faith! And according to Mrs. Martin: ‘The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith, gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome of that experience.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

So, having learned or refreshed our memories about the inspiration for the song, let’s sing it now in a soulful, mid-tempo riddim, with joy in our hearts and sacrificial praise in our voices, as we come before our wonderful God with sincere thanksgiving. ‘Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, And long for heav’n and home; When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is he; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on his goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path he leadeth, But one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. [Refrain] 

Whenever I am tempted, Whenever clouds arise; When songs give place to sighing, When hope within me dies, I draw the closer to him, From care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. So I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. Yes, I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ 

Oh my people, that was marvellous! And why shouldn’t our faith be strong and confident, when our wonderful God watches over even the small and seemingly insignificant sparrow! Can you imagine then how He watches over us, His most precious and prized creation? We should have no reason whatsoever to doubt His awesome concern for us. But unfortunately too many of us do, that’s why our faith is weak, especially in these turbulent times, when it is supposed to be oh so strong. Please, let’s take a page out of that afflicted couple’s life and raise the level of our faith nuh. 

And it’s said that the words of the song are inspired by the words of Bruh David in the Psalms and Christ in the gospel of Matthew. So let’s take a look at those scriptures now. In Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness – Bruh David declares of the Lord. ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.’ (Ps. 32:8-9) 

That reminds me of this command and promise that the Lord gave to Joshua when he became the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper (have success, act wisely) withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:7) And that’s exactly what we need today friends, to stay under the commands of God and not turn from them to either side, because that’s the only way our lives and our world will improve. 

Now let’s look at the words of Christ which they say inspired the writing of today’s song. In the Sermon on the Mount, He is teaching about not worrying about clothes and food and asks: ‘Is not life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:25-26) We certainly are! 

And then later on, while instructing the disciples, he tells them: ‘And fear them not which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him, (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt. 10:28-31) 

Yes my people, we are indeed of much more value to our heavenly Father than the birds of the air, but the problem is that we must believe it and act positively on it, otherwise the scripture is wasted on us. And it’s in tough and troubled times like what we’re currently experiencing that followers of Jesus need to come up exceedingly strong and fight the good fight in His name. But sadly too many of us are wilting like grass in the noonday sun. 

That’s not acceptable my brethren, because it means we are letting down Jesus, not taking up our cross and truly following Him. And I don’t doubt that He’s sitting in heaven right now contemplating our actions, shaking His head and wondering like He so often did down here on earth: ‘O ye of little faith! Where is your faith?’ 

So please, today, let’s all promise to raise the level of our faith by truly believing in Him, by reading and meditating on His word and staying on the straight and narrow path, not turning to the right nor to the left. That’s the only hope for our world and ourselves! Much LOVE!

…the wide and winding path leads to destruction…but the straight and narrow one leads to Christ…to life everlasting… 

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