Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2022 Psalm 34:19.

Psalm 34:19.       Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.    

Well friends, after today our sanctuary will be closed again for another few weeks. As a result of the unnerving spike of the Omicron virus, the government has further clamped down on lots of stuff. And though our worship service would not have been much affected, the leadership of our denomination decided to play it safe and shut all their sanctuaries until things lighten up.

So from next week, we will be back to only technological means of worship. And to set us off on the right foot for this last Sunday of physical worship, is a most appropriate song titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Now that anchor is Jesus my people. And it does hold, if you believe it will.

The song was born in 1992 from the frustration and rough times of a burned our pastor Lawrence Chewning, a time when his wife also had her third miscarriage. It led him to take a six month sabbatical, most of which he spent playing the piano and talking to God, and during those moments of reflection and prayer, he created the song. Eventually, Chewning mentioned the story of the song God had given him to singer Ray Boltz, who remodelled it and released it in 1995.

And with that inspiring story under our belt, let’s sing a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version of  ‘The Anchor Holds,’ letting all heaven and earth know that we are indeed sincere in our sacrifices of praise this day of the Lord. ‘I have journeyed, Through the long, dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone, Sight unknown And yet His eyes, were watching me. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams, I’ve even held them in my hand, But I never knew, They would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Oh, I have been young, but I am older now, thank the Lord, And there has been beauty, that these eyes have seen, But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved, His LOVE for me.

The anchor holds, though my ship is battered. The anchor holds, though my sails are torn. And I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.  I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Thank You Jesus! I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.’

Oh my people, it’s easy to sing the very moving and inspirational words of the song, but it’s much more difficult to put those words into action in our lives. However, with each storm we face, with Jesus as our anchor and helmsman, our faith in Him grows, and it becomes a tad easier to do each time. And though it’s not the most desirable aspect of our Christian faith, it’s only through personal experience that we are able to grow and come up higher.

And I know that we have all faced experiences that seemed like they would hit us for six, but when all hope seemed lost  and we got down on our knees during the raging storm and held on for dear life to that solid anchor called Jesus, we were able to successfully battle the stormy seas in a battered ship with torn sails. Oh my faithful brethren, only the anchor named Jesus can cause us to accomplish such eventful deeds under such trying circumstances! That’s why it’s ever so important, so necessary to have Him as a major part of our lives.

And why is that you ask, (smile) despite all that we’ve just spoken of? I believe Bruh David puts it best in Psalm 34, where he confidently declares: ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto (near to) them  that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, held guilty). The Lord redeemth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). (Ps. 34:17-22)

Now, I personally can’t find any arguments with those sentiments, but just in case you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, reputedly the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) Yes friends, as the scholars’ so rightly tell us: ‘The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ And yes, it might not happen right away, and we ought not fret about the ways of the evil doers, just continue doing what we know is right.

Now, if you still don’t believe in God’s power to hold you up in times of storm, then listen to the prophet Micah, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. He warns: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8)

And we are going to end with one powerful example of how the Lord looks after His people and catches the wicked in their own snare. Remember back in Babylon when the king’s right hand man, Haman, plotted to eradicate the Jews and built a gallows fifty cubits high to hang his hated enemy, the righteous Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle? You can read the whole story in the Book of Esther. But just listen to what eventually happened to the wicked Haman. The Good Book says: ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subsided).’ (Esth. 7:10)

Yes my fellow saints, Haman was what you call hoisted on his own petard, that’s injured, or done in by the same thing he created to injure or do in someone else. So please, please, let that be a serious warning for us. The wicked will get their comeuppance in the Lord’s time. It’s His solemn promise, and we all know that He keeps every promise He makes. Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Jesus…the Son…                                                                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2021 Psalm 34:3.

Psalm 34:3.     O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 

Well, the circle has come full circle friends; (smile) it’s Sunday once again, time to give thanks and praise to our Lord God Jehovah as a corporate body, be it in actual physical contact, or by technological means. There is no distance in prayer, once we are all on the same page. And our song of praise and worship today is one of my favourite gospel songs, it’s based on the first nine verses of Bruh David’s words in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous – and is aptly titled ‘Psalm 34.’ 

Apparently the person who put this together is named Shane Bernard, and the version we are going to do today is based on the live performance made popular by that marvellous group of singers, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir… yes, I am biased. (smile) So in sweet, rich, soulful harmony, let’s wake all heaven with our voices of sacrificial praise… and please don’t forget all the bells and whistles, harmonies and background vocals, clapping and whatever, cause we putting on a most wonderful performance this morning. 

Singing: ‘‘I sought the Lord And He answered me And delivered me From every fear. Those who look on Him Are radiant They’ll never be ashamed They’ll never be ashamed. This poor man cried And the Lord heard me And saved me from My enemies. The Son of God Surrounds His saints He will deliver them He will deliver them. Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good Oh blessed is he Who hides in Him. Oh fear the Lord Oh all you saints He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. 

(Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. Repeat) (Let us bless the Lord Every day and night Never ending praise May our incense rise. Repeat 4 times) Magnify the Lord with me Come exalt His name together Glorify the Lord with me Come exalt His name forever. {Repeat} Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. Oh taste and see That the Lord is good. He’ll give you everything He’ll give you everything. …He’ll give you everything…’  

Oh friends, that was truly marvellous! We did almost as good as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (smile) and heaven just lapped it up! Wow! And some of you might think I’m overreacting, but if you’ve never listened to the choir sing it, please check it out on You Tube, make sure it’s the live version. And what I LOVE most about it, is the way the musicians get involved. You can see that they are feeling the music too, and it’s when the musicians are also into it, that music sounds real good. 

Now, usually I don’t pay attention to the comments at the bottom, but this time I was certainly led by the Holy Spirit to do so, and was I ever amazed by the number of accolades for the song, by the amount of people who felt the same way I did. And this is just during the last few months. I just had to share some with you. These are all self-explanatory. ‘This is how it would be like in heaven. Every voice, musician, race, soul praising the name of God. Amen!!’ – ‘Every frame, every beat, every note, perfectly executed. THIS is musical perfection in gospel music.’ – 

‘Every time I listen to this song, I imagine myself along with all the other saints in heaven worshipping. This song carries a strong anointing. You can feel the presence of the heavenly hosts.’ – ‘The worship that the people utter after the song is like Heaven, every race, every tongue raising up their voices in one accord unto The King of Kings.’ – ‘I just imagine being in heaven worshipping with this magnificent choir, just magnifying our great God! Hallelujah!!’ 

And I’ve saved the best for last, because this one truly shows the power of God working in a believer’s life. ‘I work in ER, single parent, uni student, worked through the pandemic. Got really bad Covid end of January. Still on long term recovery. Got too painful last week and I found myself ‘telling’ God what He could do to fix this. Went on YouTube and this song came up. I stood up and started worshiping even though I did not know the words. Before I knew it, I was down on my knees with my hands lifted up in worship. I’m back at work in ER but I have not stopped playing this song. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this worship. My deepest condolences to everyone who lost a loved one. God bless you and keep you safe.’ 

Yes friends, that’s what your faith and the amazing power of God can do! And Bruh David knew it from firsthand experience, that’s why he could pen these marvellous words, advocating the beauty and wisdom of worshipping Jehovah God. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My mouth shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 

They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear (reverence) him.’ (Ps. 34:1-9) 

Ah mih people, I don’t see how we can get any better or truer sentiments than those nuh! For that’s exactly what our God does on behalf of those who sincerely seek, reverence and worship Him! That means we need to surrender our lives to Almighty God, put our trust and faith solely in Him, and then wait for Him to move in our lives. And if you don’t believe the first part of the psalm, then listen to the last part. (smile) 

‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned). The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned).’ (Ps. 34:17-22) 

And that’s the living truth friends! So please, let’s get wise and begin seriously living for God nuh. It’s what this life is all about! Much LOVE!

…God created us to worship Him…not Satan…                                                                                                                              

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