Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 July 2022 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.      …for without me ye can do nothing. 

Wow friends! I can’t believe another Sunday has come around so quickly! And to make matters worse, today is also the last day of July, meaning that the summer of 2022 is almost over, only August left to go. And at the rate time seems to be travelling these days, that will soon be over too, and we’ll be back into the harsh reality of winter. But that’s okay, (smile) we’re true and staunch believers in Christ Jesus, that means we can handle anything that comes against, be it heat or cold, fire or flood, hell or highwater. 

Seriously though, with all the problems our world is currently facing, like the pandemic of Covid 19, which isn’t going away, but seems to be coming back again strong, the new virus of monkeypox, aided by all the strife and dissension, plus the many natural and man-made disasters, we don’t even have time to think about the speed with which the days are passing. 

But that’s one of the reasons why we gather every Sunday, either physically in God’s sanctuary, or by technological means, so that we can pray and give thanks and ask for divine help to deal with what’s going on around us. Also to encourage each other in the joy of the Lord, and be comforted and encouraged by our omnipotent God, so that we can go back out into the world and face it mano-a-mano, without fear or worry. 

Therefore, as we always do, let’s open with some worship, with a song aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without You holding my hand.’ And believe me friends that’s the gospel truth! Without Christ, we can’t’ do much of anything. But we’ll talk about that later, right now let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, sincerely singing the wonderful words that Joyce and Colbert Croft apparently penned. In a heartfelt, medium tempo, soulful, harmonious version, let’s do it justice! 

‘I thought number one would surely be me I thought I could be what I wanted to be I thought I could build on life’s sinking sand But now I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – I thought I could do a lot on my own I thought I could make it all alone I thought of myself as a mighty big man But Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – 

I think I’ll make Jesus my all and all And if I’m in trouble on his name I’ll call If I didn’t trust him I’d be less of a man ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk without you holding my hand. Thank You for teaching me that through your Word…I can’t even walk, without holding your hand.’ 

And if you don’t believe that’s the God-awesome truth, then something’s wrong with your mind! (smile) Now, it’s not like we’re fishing and/or floundering for that truth, because Jesus said it with a straight face, a long time ago, when He told the disciples: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That should make it very clear friends. Without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing. But with Him…Mama oh Mama! We can do any and everything, even moving mountains with faith only as big as a grain of mustard seed! Yes friends, as Bruh Paul faithfully proclaimed to the church at Philippi: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And the same thing applies to us; we can live under any conditions, adapt to any circumstances, be they good, bad or in-between, through Christ’s help and strength, most ably led and guided by the third member of the Trinity, the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

Meanwhile, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, Bruh Paul wrote these stirring words to them. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) And it’s not like we don’t know that the words of the song and the Good Book are very true, that we can’t do anything of value without Christ. But it’s just that we are so stubborn and pig-headed, we refuse to acknowledge it because of foolish pride. 

And please remember my people, one of the things the Lord dislikes with a burning passion is pride, because it detracts from His glory. It makes us feel He’s not important in our scheme of things, we don’t need Him, we are sufficient in and of ourselves. And that’s exactly how the world is feeling today, and why we have such a busload of unsolvable problems. I don’t know what more it will take to make us acknowledge that we can’t help ourselves, and without God we’re nothing; nothing but flimsy, flaking pottery spinning on the potter’s wheel. 

Now let’s look at a couple of statements from the song and see how they play out in real life. Right from the very beginning we get it wrong: ‘I thought number one would surely be me…I could be what I wanted to be…I could build on life’s sinking sand.’ But Jesus refutes every one of those ideas. To be number one in his kingdom, one must first learn to serve, as He told the disciples. ‘…but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant). And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave). Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served), but to minister (to serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:26-28) 

And, as per building life on sinking sand, Jesus also addressed that problem, when he preached about the two foundations for building in this life, the Rock: that’s Himself, His example and His words. And everything else, which is sinking sand, that will be washed away when the rains fall and the floods come. But those who keep His words, build on Him, their foundation will stand the test of time and nature, because it was built on solid rock. (Matt. 7:24-27) 

The same thing goes for these foolish and egotistic words: I thought I could do a lot on my own…could make it all alone…thought of myself as a mighty big man…’ No friends, those are all self-serving and untruthful words, which Cousin Sol warned us about very long ago, when he wrote: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) Now, those are really the only words we need to live by yes, my fellow saints! We satisfy all the requirements when we do those things. 

And I’ll close with my favourite line of the song: ‘Down on my knees, that’s where I learned to stand.’ And that’s the glorious truth friends! When we get down on our knees before Almighty God and declare our sincere LOVE for Him and great desire for His fellowship…that’s when we truly begin standing; standing strong in His awesome name and glorious majesty! As Luciano’s song so rightly says: Man was made to serve Jah…and to live together forever! Much LOVE!

…only safe and secure in Christ Jesus…are we anything or anybody… 

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