Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2019 Exodus 20:8.

Exodus 20:8.    ​Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
Hello there my people, it’s Sunday, the day we set aside for fellowship, praise and thanksgiving in the Lord’s sanctuary. And today is a special Sunday, one we call Palm Sunday, where we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, like a king, with the people throwing their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on and joyfully shouting: ‘Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ (Matt.21:9) 

Yes friends on a beautiful Sunday like today, two thousand years ago, they welcomed Jesus as a king and conquering hero, but one week later they were howling like crazy for His blood to be shed on a wooden cross! Hn! That’s the fickleness of ungrateful and unfaithful man! Anyway, we’re not going to get into the Palm Sunday routine today because everyone else is doing it, and here on the Bit we try to be a li’l different from the rest. (smile) 

And as we are wont to do every Sunday, let’s open the proceedings with a song of praise and worship. Today’s ditty is called ‘In the midst of the rain,’ taken from the Bebe Winans album titled ‘In Harm’s Way.’ It’s a beautiful Christian, soulful ballad, so let’s raise our voices in song and do it justice nuh: 

‘Every time I lift my eyes to the sky, I’m reminded of a time in my life, When all the dark clouds hung over me, I was lost inside, in search of a key. I remember LOVED ones being so kind, Saying things would get much better with time. And I admit sometimes they did for a while, And then I’d find myself back under the cloud. 

(Chorus: Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.) 

When it comes right down to just you and me, There’s nothing better now that these eyes can see. And tell me what compares to all that you are? You are everything, yes my morning star! My mind, my heart and soul I now give to you. I’m under your command so what can I do? Cause I surrender all, all that I owe, And will follow wherever you go. (Chorus) 

There will never be another, Cause You’re nothing like the others. This LOVE I find in you, I found to be true! Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. But Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.’ 

Oh friends isn’t that beautiful! The words are marvellous, filled with awesome truth and our sweet, powerful and harmonious voices raised to heaven did it immense justice! All heaven had a tear escaping because of our heartfelt rendition! And how could it not be heartfelt eh, with touching situations like Jesus rescuing our souls right in the midst of a terrible downpour, when we feel so lost and alone? And having done that, then His amazing LOVE simply takes control of our lives and leads us down the right path, the straight and narrow one. 

All power and praise and glory be to out wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the name that’s above every other name, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! Yes friends, He certainly deserves all the pomp and glory with which we honour Him! 

However, I want to turn our attention to another important subject, one that we don’t seem to keep and revere as we ought to. I’m talking about the observance of the Sabbath. Now that’s always been important to our God, and it still is, but with man’s growing arrogance and prideful ways, the sabbath is constantly being diminished in our lives.

 Hear God’s commandment to the Israelites from the early days, even putting it in the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Yuh see friends, God gave us seven days in a week, but we ought to work only six and rest at least one every week, the way He did when He created the universe. I believe the Israelites took it to the extreme, taking every little thing as work, and ranting on Jesus when He healed a woman on the Sabbath. So Jesus had to smarten them up. 

‘The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass (donkey) from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed (put to shame): and all the people (multitude) rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.’ (Luke 13:15-17) 

Yes friends our God is not that strait-laced to expect us to do absolutely nothing on a sabbath! We just should not engage in too much stuff that not’s restful and pertaining to Him. And the scholars offer this explanation of the above verses: ‘13:15-17. Jesus makes His point well. But there remains in every generation the temptation for traditions and programs to take priority over people.’ 

So true that my people! No wonder Jesus had to inform the rulers of His time that ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27) And as the scholars tell us: ‘2:27-28. Jesus’ reasoning is that divine institutions on earth are to have a God-honouring, noble, and liberating function. Sabbath laws had for some degenerated into a mockery of God’s intent.’ 

And so it also has in our time. But please note that if we honour the Sabbath. ‘Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:14) That’s God’s promise friends! Much LOVE!

…honour the sabbath…and the Lord will honour you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2018 Mark 11:9.

Mark 11:9.    And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Oh friends, it’s Sunday, Palm Sunday, that venerable feast day in our Christian history and calendar when our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem like a conquering hero, the king He was and is, riding on the back of a humble donkey, as the jubilant people spread their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on, and they kept singing, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful and moving spectacle that must have been, seeing and hearing the people give praise and honour and glory to our God and King, Jesus Christ. 

Likewise, this Palm Sunday morning, the Sunday before Easter, as we gather in the chapel, the sanctuary, or wherever, let’s lift up our voices in praise and glory like they did two thousand years ago, as we welcome Jesus into our hearts and spirits and surroundings. 

Let’s resurrect those shouts of Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!’ As one awesome sounding choir now, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise through grateful lips from joyful hearts. ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest, Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest. 

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Holy is the Lamb of God. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God 

Jesus is the King of Kings Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest.’ 

Yeh friends, is it ever important that we lift up the name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, so that all people can bow their knees to Him and call him Lord and Saviour, for that’s exactly what He is. And now that we’ve offered praise and worship, our hearts and souls have been opened, ready to receive God’s word, that will bless and keep us for the next week. 

And here it is, describing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. ‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethpage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he (Jesus) sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against (opposite) you, and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him 

And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.’ (Mark 11:1-3) 

‘All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Matt.21:4-5) 

‘And they (the disciples) went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without (outside) in a place (on the street) where two ways met; and they loose (untied) him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye do, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way (road): and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way (road). 

And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.’ (Mark 11:4-10) 

‘And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt.21:10-11) 

And there we have it friends; the word of the Lord! And all God’s people declared a loud, grateful and confident ‘All thanks and praise be to our wonderful and sovereign God!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, He is indeed worthy of all the praise and glory our hearts and souls can muster! And you’ll notice that I interspersed the words of Matthew and Mark in our gospel reading so that we could get the full benefit of the information contained in both, since they each tell the story in a slightly different manner. 

Now I sincerely hope that the gospel story and the praise and worship have touched our hearts and souls today, and will make us confident and secure to go out and face another week of work. Until next time then, the Lord willing, walk faithfully and carefully with the Saviour. Much LOVE!

…Hosanna…Hosanna…save me Jesus…save me…is the right cry for us all to call out… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2016 Zechariah 9:9

Zechariah 9:9.    Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just (righteous), and having salvation; lowly (humble), and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Welcome friends to the first day of spring in the North Country, although it’s still pretty chilly outside. (smile) It’s also Sunday my people, which means it’s time to get thee hither to church, to gather with other believers to praise and worship and give thanks and glorify Almighty God and receive His power, strength, energy, wisdom, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. 

Now this is not my suggestion, but God’s command: ‘Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day, thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. (Ex.23:12) 

And in modern day Christian society we have chosen Sundays to be our day of rest and worship, and in a convoluting kind of way, also the first day of the week. The important thing though, is that we take off one day a week from our labour and rest and worship the Lord as a group, regardless of which day it might be. 

Now listen to this other scripture about the observance of the Sabbath from the prophet Isaiah. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the  high places of the earth (the hills), and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:13-14) 

What more can we ask for re the observance, the celebration of the Sabbath eh my brethren? Nothing at all! The Lord has promised us a joyride if we faithfully observe it. (smile) 

And fortunately, today also happens to be Palm Sunday; that magnificent day of celebration, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was ushered into Jerusalem in kingly fashion, but on a humble donkey, where the people spread their garments and branches they cut down from trees along the roadway for Him to ride over. 

‘And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.’ (Matt.20:8-9) 

Oh my people what a day of celebration that must have been in ole Jerusalem. Notwithstanding, that a week later the same fickle souls were then fiendishly crying out ‘crucify Him, crucify Him!’ That just shows what a bunch of ingrates and turncoats and hypocrites we are. 

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. (smile) Today, let’s enjoy the pomp and pageantry that was Palm Sunday, for it will be indeed a fleeting, though rather important moment in time. 

And the breathtaking aspect of the day, is as the Good Book says: ‘And all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Matt.21:5)  

Oh my people, how wonderful is our God eh, who can foretell stuff centuries and eons before they come to pass! ‘Behold the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.’ (Is.42:9) 

And the Lord did tell us about Palm Sunday long before it happened. The words of our Bit spell it out loud and clear: ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just (righteous), and having salvation; lowly (humble), and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ 

What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! No other supposed deity has done, or can do those things; only the Almighty and Everlasting God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

‘And all God’s people joyfully sang: ‘Praise Him, praise him, Glory Hallelujah, He is LOVE, He is LOVE!’ That He certainly is my people! 

Now here is some info from the scholars. ‘9:9-10. The ass (donkey) was an animal of peace. The kings of the earth come to bring destruction and devastation: Israel’s King comes to bring peace. The prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.’ 

Yes my people, our God is so mighty, majestic, magnificent and magnanimous that I can’t understand how so many of us can fail to appreciate, LOVE, serve and worship Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls nuh! 

He has never lied to us, never led us astray, has proven His great and unconditional LOVE for us unworthy reprobates by sending His only son Jesus to die on the cross so that we could be free, washed clean of our disgusting sins, thus reconciling us to Him, bringing us back into a right relationship with Him, offering us a free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life with the Holy Trinity in heaven till time immemorial! 

What more does He have to do to convince us eh mih breddren? The only thing left is for us to be able to worship the prince of darkness and lust after and enjoy the things of the world and still get to heaven. But I can assure you friends, that’s NEVER going to happen. 

The Lord in His righteousness and holiness and justice could not agree to that. Yuh see the great heartbreaking lengths He went to, to secure our freedom; sacrificing His only Son? Now if it were possible to get into heaven another way than through Jesus sacrifice, don’t you think He would have taken it? 

Anyway, that is all now hypothetical; Jesus was sacrificed to pay for our sins, and He’s the ONLY way to get to heaven. So let’s go out and celebrate, have a wonderful Palm Sunday, sing and praise and joyfully shout ‘Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!’ Much LOVE my fellow believers!

…sing and rejoice…O daughter of Zion…for, lo, I come (am coming)…and I will dwell in the midst of thee…saith the Lord…  (Zech.2:10)