Today​’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 

Well a fine Tuesday morning to all you beloved saints of Christ Jesus! Hope the Lord is blessing you and keeping your paths straight as you walk in obedience to His holy edicts. And if we’re not doing so well in our faith walk, then let’s declare some stuff that will help us remember God’s goodness and help us stand strong in these difficult times. 

So let’s acclaim some acclamations nuh! (smile) And as always, the first one is ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) Yeh friends, what’s the point of being alive eh, if we don’t enjoy the wonderful days and life that the Lord has so magnanimously granted us? None whatsoever! 

And on top of that we know without a doubt that ‘God will supply ALL our needs through His riches in glory through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil.4:19) Oh glory to our great God, who knows what we need and supplies it to us. And with all of that we are imbued with such strength and power and contentment, that we can say with all surety and sincerity: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Yes my faithful brethren, what ever we need to do, our great God, through His wonderful Son WILL give us the wherewithal to do it! Praise His holy name! And how can we forget this most wonderful acclamation? ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ (Rom.8:31) NOBODY friends! NOBODY can stand against us if God is on our side! Please remember that! 

And how about this one? ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ Oh friends, oh friends, that is such a strong foundation to stand and build our faith on that I have to quote these two relevant scriptures. John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:4-5) 

What powerful and encouraging scriptures my people! Through Christ we’re so empowered that it boggles the mortal mind! (smile) And here’s what the scholars have to says about those verses. ‘5:4. Whatsoever refers to every believer born of God.’ ‘5:5. There is conquering power through this confession because God is sovereign over the world, and only through His Son does man have access to and find favour with God.’ 

Now that’s telling it like it is! If you’ve been born again with the Spirit of Christ, then you have the power to overcome any and everything that’s in this evil world! Remember too what Christ said: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) So if you’re a believer you have very good grounds to expect victory in your faith walk because of Jesus’ victory. 

Therefore, Bruh Paul was able to write these immortal words to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35, 37-39) 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yeh friends, God is the GREATEST! And we are children of the GREATEST, so nobody can mess with us and get away with it! How wonderful to know that eh! And I’ll be nice and spoon feed us here with something that we should all already know and believe. It’s God’s purpose for us! ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Most definitely my fellow believers, for all of us who are called to God’s divine purpose for our lives and respond obediently, He will, in the end, work out everything for our good. We might not see or appreciate His workings right now, but as true believers, we can be sure that it will be all right in the end! Glory to God my people! 

Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and a true sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to go out and share that friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the many who desperately need it today. Much LOVE!

…when we’re down…nothing lifts us up…like God’s Word…that’s filled with all His wonderful promises…

P.S. I’m here chuckling because this wasn’t the lesson I intended to teach this morning…in fact I didn’t have anything in mind. (smile) But this is where I was led. Thanks to our ever-faithful God! And I believe it is encouraging and uplifting. Let’s hope you find it so too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Well it looks like it’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week…but don’t quote me on that nuh, because I’m not completely sure. (smile) I’m just assuming that because I was so busy on the first two days, that this next one is indeed Wednesday, since Wednesday is supposed to be the third one in the troika!  And that’s why they say B.S baffles brains! 

Lighten up mih people, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the house, and all’s right with His people, because He says so: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, I know that’s a very big, broad and difficult statement to handle, especially with all the stuff that’s going on in the world today. And I’m sure if you are one of those people in California who have lost everything through those terrible wild fires, and are now being threatened by flash floods, mudslides and landslides, it might be near impossible to accept that. But being a true believer means that you ought to accept whatever Jesus says as gospel truth, even though your circumstances are crying out in a much different manner. 

Ah mih people, it’s only faith, buoyed by hope that will take us through the terrible times. Without faith and hope in Jesus Christ, you’re just completely lost, because He is the ONLY ONE who can really turn things around in your favour. And yes, it is hard, and difficult and heart-rending, but with Him in your corner, please remember that ALL things are possible. End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s try and break down our Bit into its salient parts and find passages of scripture that agree with it. Let’s begin with ‘in me ye might have peace.’ Listen to Bruh Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he (he himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. 

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.’ (Eph.2:13-17) 

And what that’s basically saying is that Jesus came and broke down the walls of enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them into one body, the Christian Church. The Jews felt that they were better than the Gentiles because they had a close relationship with God, and they considered the Gentiles outcasts.

But Jesus came and removed the dividing wall, the Mosaic Law, which had been instituted to protect the Jews from pagan corruption, and which the Jews were abusing anyway. So that now, through Jesus’ coming and sacrifice, both Jews and Gentiles are now one; Christians in Christ! Glory to God! 

And as pertaining to: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer;’ hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But thou hast fully known (followed) my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity (LOVE), patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, even Jesus, when speaking of the signs for the world’s end, said it in so many words: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) Ah mih people, we simply have to keep the faith and believe in the promises of Jesus! 

And finally, as per ‘I have overcome the world,’ listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:37-39) Now that’s surely a most powerful statement my fellow believers…and a very true one at that! 

Hear the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (v.28).’

Glory to God my believing brethren! Nothing can harm us because our heavenly Father is the most omnipotent power in His universe! Wow! 

Now let’s go home telling this evil world our position in that omnipotent force, Jesus Christ, through our Wednesday Wail! In loud, proud and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And will that future ever be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…believing in Jesus here on earth might be rough…but brother…are the heavenly rewards ever awesome and amazing…simply stupendous…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2018 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.

Aw friends, what kind of crazy, evil, ungodly, unsafe world are we living in eh, when in broad daylight a young man can drive his vehicle into a crowd of innocent people and kill nine or ten of them and injure a whole lot more? Or another young person can enter a restaurant and just open fire with his AK 15, or some such firearm and kill four people? 

The first incident happened in Toronto, the northern section of the city yesterday, and the second down in Nashville, U.S, a couple days ago. It seems we’re safe NOWHERE on the planet. Steups! And then the popular excuse is that these people have mental issues. Chuh! Well then too large a proportion of our society has mental problems! And if that’s a fact, then why aren’t we addressing them properly eh? 

Ah mih people, nowadays our favourite pastime seems to be talk; talk for just talk sake, and get nothing done. Our society is fast going to hell in a basket and our politicians and power brokers still only seem to care about getting in power and lining their own pockets. It’s a good thing that we believers have Jesus and His many faithful promises to hang on to yes, otherwise I don’t know what would happen to us nuh. 

And as we continue looking at some of the many wonderful promises that our faithful God has made us, we open with one of the most steadfast and uncompromising, that contained in our Bit: ‘and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ 

What a powerful promise that is my fellow believers, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He sent the disciples out to proselytize the world! And it’s that kind of stuff that we need to hang on to as we navigate this unsafe and crazy world; look to heaven rather than to mankind who is as evil as the night is dark. 

And if that doesn’t quell your worries, then listen to this promise. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

Glory be my breddren! What wonderful words of assurance given to us by our God and our Creator and Saviour. The author of Hebrews is there reiterating God’s promise to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

However friends, there is ONE thing God asked of Joshua, and is also asking of us in these dangerous and trying times: ‘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, or act wisely) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, regardless of the number of great promises God has made us, we still have to take them to heart and stand strong under them. That’s our part of the bargain: stand strong and steadfast in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! But that’s exactly what a lot of us are not doing, thus our fears, worries and anxieties every day of our lives. 

Now hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church on the separation of Christ from His people. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:34-39) 

Oh precious people of God, if that powerful assurance of Christ’s irremovable presence from our lives doesn’t move and reassure you, then I don’t know what will nuh! That’s possibly one of the greatest promises a believer has to hang on to. Once Christ comes into our lives, we cannot be separated from Him. He will NEVER leave or forsake us, unless we push Him away or turn against Him. 

Therefore friends, in these troubled times, I implore us to hold on tightly to the promises of our ever-faithful God, to stand strong and courageous as He asks of us, so that we can conquer this evil word in His name. Now let’s go home showing the world that we are indeed standing strong in Christ. Let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much vim and vigour. 

As one loud and purposeful voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we’re sincere, then let’s go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and everlasting friendship with world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…standing on the promises of God…standing safe and secure… on the promises of God, my Lord…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Here we go again friends, getting up to go and labour on a Monday morning; a rather chilly one in the northern climes, with a brisk wind blowing to liven it up. (smile) As Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) would say: ‘Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag…’ 

Yeh mih people, unfortunately we’ve got to get a move on if we want to survive, much less get ahead in this evil and cruel world. And to help inspire us, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster. 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, when we’re dressed in the Lord’s spiritual armour, we are invincible. So with the adrenaline raised by the valiant proclamation of our Battle Hymn (smile) let’s get a move on nuh, get into the world and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus’ name, for that is what we were created to do. Being a Christian is not easy, because you have to undergo tests, trials and tribulation, to build your faith, so you can grow and be promoted in God’s kingdom. And the fact that a large proportion of the world will be against you for just being a follower of Jesus, makes it even more difficult. 

But listen to these amazing, astounding, reassuring and comforting words of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, High Priest and heavenly Advocate; Jesus Christ, as He declares in our Bit. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye  shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Wow friends! What an earth shattering statement! And there was no hesitation or doubt in Jesus’ voice when He said it. He was one hundred and ten percent sure of what He was saying. That means that we too can be one hundred and ten percent sure of all that He said. He opened His heart to the disciples and consequently to us, to give us His peace that’s like no other peace; the one that passes all human understanding. And though He knows that tribulation will be our lot in life, He assures us to be of good cheer. 

And some of us will sneer at that statement, complaining that those two things are mutually exclusive. Not if you are a follower of Christ, because He has overcome the world and all the tribulation therein. Therefore, with His help, we can handle anything that comes against us. Please remember that my people. With God and us working in tandem, we are a majority, capable of defeating anything and anyone that dares to challenge us.

Remember that verse from Philippians? ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) Well that’s the gospel truth friends! But you have to believe it, have the faith to put it into action. And though I’ve recently quoted these upcoming verses to you my brethren, I believe I have to quote them again because they are so relevant to our Bit, and the more often we hear them, the deeper they will sink into our consciousness. (smile)  

Hear Bruh Paul elucidate and expound to the Roman church nuh. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35-39) 

Oh my fellow believers, until we all feel that way, espouse that same conviction, we won’t be able to reach the heights of service that the Lord has planned for us. The workers of iniquity sincerely believe in their cause, and are more than willing to fight for it. Christians also need to sincerely believe and be willing to fight for our righteous cause, if we want to defeat them. 

Oh my brethren, the long and short of the story then is; if we want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to succeed, then we have to come together as ONE, and fight our battles as ONE, in Jesus name. There is no middle ground. Much LOVE!

…Christ died that His church should be united…not divided…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2017 Jeremiah 31:3.

Jeremiah 31:3.    The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.

And the pendulum of time swings – back and forth – every minute of every hour, of every day, month and year. But who knows when that pendulum of time will stop swinging eh?  Only Jehovah God, who created it, in the first place. It is not for man to know the plans God has for His universe, but to just accept them with humility and gratitude, while praising and worshipping the One who breathed the exotic breath of His eternal life into our frail, mortal bodies.  

Now, as another Sunday rolls around, we gather once more in joyful fellowship in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship, exalt and glorify His Holy Name, as he desires of us. And, as always, we’ll begin the worship by offering up the sacrifice of praise in song. Today’s opening hymn is an old one, ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul,’ written by Charles Wesley way back in the 18th century. It’s one we all know and cherish, so let’s belt it out with great joy and enthusiasm. 

‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last! Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. 

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus had to LOVE our sinful souls, else why did He sacrifice His righteous life, taking our sin unto His shoulders, while giving us His righteousness? True LOVE could be the only answer. Jesus said it to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He went out and laid down His life for us all. 

But it all began with the Father, as Jeremiah reports in our Bit, when the Lord promised the restoration of Israel. ‘The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.’ 

Yuh see how often He allowed Israel to be torn apart, then He LOVINGLY built them back up again. And it’s not only LOVE that God has for His human creation, but also infinite patience! Oh my people, what great and undying concern the Lord has for us! It’s almost impossible to understand the length and breadth and height and depth of it. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time), Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

As the scholars explain: ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit, but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ Oh my people, how touching and heartwarming that is eh! Knowing that Christ died instead of me, so that I didn’t have to die an awful, sinful death… How much more should that make me LOVE Him and place my undying trust in all that He stands for! 

Oh my fellow believers, as we truly study it, the portrait of LOVE coming out of heaven, just keeps on getting bigger and deeper. How so, you ask?  Because Jesus didn’t have to die for us, but because He was sinless, He was the ONLY One who could atone for our sins, pay the sacrificial debt needed to wash and cleanse us and prevent us from being thrown into everlasting darkness. And being the wonderful and obedient Son that He was, He accepted the Father’s assignment without hesitation, and like a lamb, without a bleat, eventually went to the His awful death for our sakes. 

And now, ingrates that we are, we’re boldfaced enough to make nasty jokes about Him, mock Him, put Him down, offer blatant derision and blaspheme His holy name! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom, for time is truly longer than twine, and in God’s good time, He will send Jesus back into this horrible world to clean it up, and all those naysayers and unbelievers, and workers of iniquity will not be laughing then, because Jesus will be sitting on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem running things. Glory to God! 

So let the fools have their way now my brethren, we will have the last laugh when Jesus comes back in all His shining glory and mercurial splendor. Then ALL knees WILL bow before Him, and ALL voices WILL declare that He is Lord of all, to the everlasting glory of God the Father! 

Yes friends, that’s how it is going to be whenever the Lord decides it’s time to clean up this awful mess of His world that we have created. So please hang in there, stay focused on Jesus and in serious and sincere LOVE with Him, so that when He returns, we will be numbered amongst His entourage. Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints…go marching in…I want to be amongst that glorious number…oh when the saints…go marching in…