Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 August 2022   Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

My fellow believers, let’s come together right now, to praise, worship and give thanks to our great and wonderful God, for that’s the major reason He created us! Consequently, Bruh David could joyfully declare (chuh!!!) in the opening verse of Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ That’s where we’re supposed to be sometime this last Sunday in August of 2022. 

And besides being made to praise and worship God, the psalmist also declares: (yesss!!!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) That’s even more reason to praise and worship Him. 

And as always, we have a marvellous song of worship to open the proceedings. Today’s hymn is one of our very ‘favouritest’ (smile) aptly titled ‘Amazing Grace.’ It was supposedly written ‘to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773.’ by the sailor, slave trader, turned Anglican priest and abolitionist John Newton (1725-1807). The story goes that Newton, who was brought up in a Christian home rejected his mother’s teachings and became a real profane and wicked individual. 

However, during one of his voyages, a wicked storm (smile) enveloped his ship and threatened to drown them, but during the storm, his mind turned to Christ, and later, finding a New Testament he began reading it. And apparently Luke 11:13 changed his mind about being too wicked to be saved. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ 

Now that’s a terribly important question. And the answer is the Lord will give us ever so much more than we can give our children! Obviously, Newton must have asked for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Lord granted it to him. And isn’t that just the way our Lord LOVES to work; take us up, rescue us when we are at our lowest point. It’s a perfect example that we can never fall too low for the Lord’s grace and mercy to reach us and pull us out of the evil mire in which we’re ensconced. 

Anyway, enough talk for now. If you didn’t know the general background of the hymn, now you know it, so let’s sing it in a soulful, harmonious, mid-tempo version. I hate hearing people sing it like a dirge, for it’s not a sad song but a happy one. A song of salvation should never be sad. So, with voices raised to the max, let’s offer up sacrificial praise, singing like we truly feeling the overpowering sentiments of the song. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih people, that was marvellous! Heaven couldn’t doubt that we were sincere! And I particularly like this comment in an article on the song from the website Godtube. It says: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology – it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced.’ 

Yes friends, it must be amazing when we can go from one end of the spectrum right to the opposite end! And although the song might not be a theological text (smile) it’s only God’s grace can cause that to happen. For as Bruh Paul wrote to the Ephesians: ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) 

And I guess Newton full well recognized that fact, having later become and Anglican priest, for in the song, he acknowledged this most important fact: ‘’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far. And grace will lead me home.’ And that’s for certain sure my fellow believers, for as James, Jesus’ brother tells us: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, everything good comes from our heavenly Father, who is immutable, doesn’t change. And as we said at the beginning, He made us, His most important creation to have fellowship with Him, to be the first step in His redemption plan for all creation. And as the song concludes: ‘When we’ve been here ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.’ 

Now isn’t that the glorious truth? It surely is! As long as there’s’ life in our bodies, physical or spiritual, we’ll always have occasion to sing the Lord’s praises, for that’s why we were made!  So, let’s remember that nuh and keep singing God’s most deserved praises each and every day of our lives as the Good Book instructs us to do. ‘O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 117:1-2) 

And that only comes when we truly believe, and thus have the joy, the truth, and the grace of God moving majestically within us! Much LOVE!

…it’s never too late…or one’s never too far gone…to receive God’s grace…

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