Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 January 2023 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.        The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Come Sunday, it will be all right… Yes friends, come Sunday everything will be fine as we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary on His day to give Him thanks and praise for His awesome goodness to His children! Nothing could be better than communing with our heavenly Father all in one place at one time. As the Lord’s word reminds us in Hebrews: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE, and unto good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:24-25) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And having been told off in no uncertain terms (smile) let us proceed to interact by offering up some sacrificial praise through this marvellous song of encouragement and strengthening, aptly titled, ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’  And as we raise our voices in sweet harmony, in an up-tempo version of the hymn, let’s do as the website Hymnary.org advises: ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ 

We definitely can’t go wrong, doing that my fellow believers. So let God’s people sing: ‘‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms…leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour….’ 

And you’d better believe that there is certainly no better place to lean than on the everlasting arms of Jesus! The story goes that the hymn came about from the letters of two past pupils of Anthony J Showalter, who informed him that their wives had died, and they were seeking consolation. And while answering their letters he was inspired by these marvellous words of comfort found in Deuteronomy 33:27. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ 

Apparently though, Showalter had some problems putting the hymn together, so he approached Elisha Hoffman, a prolific gospel writer for help, and together they wrote the song which was eventually published in 1887. Wow! Another oldie but goldie! And it’s revered as one of the greatest hymns for times of solace, as it encourages us to keep ‘leaning on the everlasting arms’ of God when seeking comfort. 

And why not eh, when Bruh Paul writes it so plainly in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! He comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort others in their time of need! What a simple but every effective way to do it. And that’s one of the reasons why consistent church going is important; you can’t be encouraged if you’re not associating with your fellow believers. And the opening lines of the hymn just exude comfort and consolation. ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine…what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ 

Then the chorus declares: ‘leaning safe and secure from all alarms;’ How could we not like this wonderful hymn eh? And for good measure, let’s hear some more of those comforting sentiments. (smile) ‘Oh how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way…O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ It certainly does my people. Therefore, ‘What have I to dread, what have I to fear, I have blessed peace with my Lord so near.’ Absolutely! 

That’s why the psalmist could unequivocally state in Psalm 91: ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust.’ (Ps. 91: 2) Likewise Bruh David in Psalm 27 was not afraid to proclaim: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1)  And we certainly can’t doubt Moses when he sings in his famous song: ‘The Lord is my strength and song (fortress, defense), and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex. 15:2) 

Yes friends, that magnificent Library of God’s Word, is filled with such sentiments throughout its pages. And not from hearsay either nuh, but from personal experience, thus it‘s ever so important for us to read, study and sincerely consider the many encouraging and uplifting anecdotes found therein. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Lord as He speaks to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites on the death of Moses. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall continually be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s really the only scripture we need to ever learn and follow yes! So please let’s begin doing it seriously and sincerely as of right now nuh. For then we will make our way prosperous and have good success. I‘m sure we all desire that. And it’s right there in the palms of our hands, ready for the taking. So please, let’s be wise and do it. Much LOVE!

…in the storms of life…there is no where else to find true peace and comfort…than leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ our Saviour… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.         In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

HAPPY  THANSKGIVING  CANADA !

And once again we are gathered here to celebrate God’s Day, Sunday, the day He rested from His labours, after creating the world and all therein in the previous six. And on this Thanksgiving Sunday in our blessed country of Canada, we must remember that gathering in the Lord’s name is not simply a suggestion, but our bounden duty, as the author of Hebrews tells us: ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25) 

And the scholars explain it thus. ‘The admonition “Not forsaking the assembling,” involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And do I ever like that last line. The body of Christ is one that thrives on total interaction, and we gather not just for spiritual enlightenment but to exhort, to uplift each other in whatever aspect we might need it. So, having seen the many benefits of assembling, (smile) let’s get to giving thanks and praise on this Thanksgiving Sunday by opening with a most appropriate song. It’s fairly new, in comparison to some of our other hymns, and was written by one Johnson Oatman, Jr (1856-1922) an American ordained minster, a very prolific songwriter. 

And the song is one we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Count Your Blessings.’ I chose it for today because I figured that we can never truly give thanks until we are fully aware of what we’re giving thanks for, and counting our blessings reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. So, let’s open our harmonious voices, sending up sacrificial praise, in a rollicking rendition of ‘Count Your Blessings. 

Singing: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] 

When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain] 2’ 

That was indeed a rollicking rendition my people! Heaven surely knows that we are sincerely grateful for the many blessings they have poured down on us. And what does ‘Count Your Blessings’ really mean eh? I have a note here, don’t remember where I got it from, (smile) but it defines counting your blessings as ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’ And that’s all it is really: being thankful for the breath we breathe, for our friends and families, for our jobs, health, food, clothing and shelter, plus the ability and joy of sharing what we have with others. 

Oh my friends, so much of our world right now is in such bad shape, they have nothing at all, that we should be awfully glad and thankful for whatever little we have. As one quote so rightly advises: ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time for counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ And that’s the gospel truth; there are always opportunities in our troubles to begin again, to turn over a new leaf, to find something useful, some blessing in those same troubles. 

The problem though is that we pay more attention to our troubles than our blessings, when the fact is if we write both our blessings and troubles on a sheet of paper, we’ll most likely find that we have way more blessings than troubles. And it’s not like the scriptures doesn’t continually tell us to give thanks, to be grateful for all we have. So, let’s look at a couple of them. 

And this advice from Bruh Paul the Thessalonians as he exhorts the brethren to good works, is one of the most all-encompassing, but very problematic to many of us. He says first of all: ‘Rejoice evermore.’ Then ‘Pray without ceasing.’ And finally: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

Now those are certainly tough scriptures to continually enact, but with proper understanding and God’s help, we can certainly do them. It’s simply keeping a good attitude regardless of our circumstances, while being in touch with the Lord throughout the day talking to Him about whatever is going on with us and giving Him thanks through Christ for all His help, because that’s what He desires of us. Please remember that the Lord created us so that He could have good fellowship with us, that we should do His will and in so doing, glorify Him. So those three things that Bruh Paul asks of us, is what we were really created for. 

And here is some more advice from Bruh Paul, this time to the Colossians, on the topic of Christian virtues. He writes: ‘And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace of Christian virtues). And let the peace of God (harmony) rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:14-17) 

Right there we have the basic virtues of our Christian faith, beginning with LOVE, the crowning glory, and ending with thanks, sincere appreciation for it all. Now, let’s go home this Thanksgiving Sunday with this beautiful and most useful recommendation from the website http://www.godtube. It says: ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’  

So please my fellow saints, let’s pause today and count our many blessings, then give God our grateful and sincere thanks for them nuh. It will go so much better with us. Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be all the thanks and the glory…through Jesus Christ…the Son… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2020 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     ​For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Oh mih people, the time for praise and worship and ‘gatheration’ (smile) – if you can – has come around again, and we must not be found wanting in keeping the Lord’s Day holy as He desires, in whatever form and fashion we can. Good sentence eh? Bruh Paul would have been proud of it. (smile) The long and short of the story though is if we can go to church, let us go to church, and if we can’t, then let us get together through the radio, telephone, t.v., computer or however we can, for it’s important that Christians assemble, or congregate or worship together. 

Remember the words of Hebrews: ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25) And no, that doesn’t mean we can’t miss a church service here and there, but that it is important for us to gather so we can encourage and exhort each other to keep the faith, especially in tough and uncertain times like these. As the scholars tell us: ‘The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ Although that’s also a part of its job. (smile) 

So now that we’ve gathered on this Sabbath Day in late October of this watershed year of 2020, let’s do our best to encourage and exhort each other to stay the course with Jesus, difficult as it might be. And as always we going to begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, a li’l soulful ditty written by one Fernando Ortega, but today we’re doing a live soulful version by Danny Gokey. 

I first heard it last week when I asked the duchess for something to sing, and soon thereafter she sent me ‘Buried Alive’ by Buju Banton, which we sung last week, and this tune by Danny Gokey, which I told myself that we’d sing this week, and which I sent to some of you by what’s app. That means some of you already know it, so it won’t be hard to sing. (smile) And it’s strange that after listening to several different versions of the song, I came right back to this one because of its powerful, soulful and heart-rending appeal. 

So let’s all join together and raise our voices in harmonious, sincere, soulful, sacrificial praise, declaring the thing, the person, we desire most in this world. As the song says: ‘Give Me Jesus!’ Yes friends, He is definitely ALL we need in this world. Singing: ‘Ohhh ohhh, Give me Jesus… Give me Jesus… In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. (Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus.) 

When I am alone, Oh When I am alone, When I am alone, Give me Jesus. (Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. For He is all that I need. Just give me Jesus) When I come to die, Oh, When I come to die, When I come to die, Give me Jesus. Ohhhh Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Oh it’s all I need, all I need is Jesus. So Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, You can have all this world, You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, He’s all I need. He’s all I need. 

Give me Jesus…in the morning when I rise…when I lay my head down… when I wake up, when I lay my head down, said I need him, said I need you… said I only want Jesus…when I wake up… Just give me Jesus. All I need is him. We worship you, we worship you, I say we worship you Lord. You’re the answer to my prayers, you’re the calm in the storm, you’re my rest and my refuge…oh yeahhh…’ 

Oh my brethren, that was indeed heart-rending. Jesus couldn’t doubt the sincerity of our plea to have Him in our lives. And why wouldn’t we desire Him when He’s so omnipotent and compassionate and LOVING eh? Let’s look at a few scriptures that paint that wonderful picture. To begin with, John tells us that Jesus was the Word, and that He was with God from the beginning. Then He was made flesh to come into this world to bring light to us poor sinners who were living in darkness, but who unfortunately did not understand the light. (John 1:1-5) 

‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:9) And Jesus Himself corroborated that truth when He told His doubting listeners: ‘I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) That just goes to show Jesus’ amazing power. As a part of the Godhead, the Holy Trinity, how can we not be drawn to Him eh? 

And then what greater LOVE could He show than coming to earth to sacrifice His sinless life to save us from the fires of hell eh? Hear Him: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Now why would He do such a thing if He didn’t care deeply and dearly for us eh? It’s all about LOVE, my people, that outstanding characteristic the Lord holds for His creation, mankind. And Jesus puts it in a nutshell. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yeh people, the only way one can receive salvation is through Jesus Christ! NO OTHER WAY! 

And hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Rome nuh. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom. 5:19) And that ONE is Jesus! The ONE who died on the cross to pay for our sins! So why wouldn’t we want Him eh, why wouldn’t He be our FIRST and ONLY choice eh, when He’s done so much for us, done what no one else could ever do? 

And when yuh talking about ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, nobody did it like Jesus. Look at what He bore so that we could be set free. As Hebrews says: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) That’s why He can be our Comforter and Intercessor friends! He was tempted and suffered just like us, so He fully understands what we’re going through. 

And we’ll end with these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

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. 2:5-11) 

And if all of that doesn’t convince you that Christ is ALL you need in this world, then I don’t know what will nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ is our…High Priest…Lord…Saviour…King…Comforter…Intercessor…our EVERYTHING… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long, but justifiably so. (smile)