Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2020 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.     ​Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith;

Well friends, it was nice while it lasted; I mean the physical ‘gatheration’ in the Lord’s sanctuary for the past couple of months. But with the Covid -19 business coming back with a vengeance in a second wave, it’s been thought prudent, in my local church, after today, to suspend the physical gathering for a month and revert to just the virtual stuff. And if that saves lives, then so be it. It was good seeing a few people after such a long time though, but the virus is no respecter of persons and it doesn’t make sense trying to buck it if it’s not necessary. 

So let’s get down to the business of worship now nuh. And today we’ll sing a song penned by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson back in the last half of the last century, a favourite of all believers, titled ‘One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus.’ And no, we not doing a strictly soul version, but an easy rocking reggae version, a la Carlene Davis, the well-known Jamaican Gospel singer. So altogether now, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we give praise, thanks and adoration to our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

And we opening with the chorus…some easy skanking now. (smile) ‘(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) I’m only human I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am. Oh show me the stairways I have to climb Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time. 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) Oh do you remember? When you walked among men? Well Jesus you know If you’re looking below That its worse now than then Oh there’s Cheating and stealing, violence and crime. So Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time) 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time Oh help me today Show me the way One day at a time… One day at a time…Sweet Jesus…Teach me to take One day at a time…One day at a time…Lord help me today…Show me the way…One day at a time.’ 

Oh mih people, that was some nice easy rocking! And what I like about it all is that when the riddim is rocking down here on earth, heaven rocks with us! Glory be! And so it should be, all God’s creation ought to praise Him. As the psalmist so rightly says in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. It’s a universal declaration: 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. 

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps. Fire and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men and maidens; old men, and children: 

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah)!’ 

Yes mih people, the psalmist is calling on everybody, all of God’s creation; heavenly beings and heavenly bodies, as well as earthly beings and earthly substances to give God praise because of His creative power and the towering majesty of His awesome glory. Yes, our great and powerful God should always be showered with praise because He undoubtedly deserves it! And no more so than for giving us the greatest gift ever, salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow mih bredrin! If that isn’t something to give much thanks and praise for, then I don’t know what is nuh. For Jesus is all that we can ever ask for or desire! He’s our EVERYTHING! He came to earth and experienced the evil and tough times like we’re doing, was tempted just like we are, but did not sin, so He understands our predicament from personal experience, not hearsay. That’s why it’s simple common sense to turn to Jesus for help. 

And I want to leave us with a couple of appropriate scriptures that proclaim such wisdom. Both are from the Book of Hebrews. The first says we can run our race day by day: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

And the second scripture tells us of the sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). 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. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, that’s why we can look to Jesus for grace and mercy to live each day as we ought to, in His name, doing His work, diligently and excellently! Much LOVE!

…if yuh not turning to Jesus for help…then yuh being foolish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘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) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘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.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts! ‘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 the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2014 Psalm 22:11

Psalm 22:11.  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Well Friends, since it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in good ole Canada, it’s only mete and right that we give some thanks at the beginning of the proceedings, this chilly Saturday autumn morn.

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Father in heaven, we’ve set aside this weekend to celebrate your generous Deity; to give you much deserved praise and thanks for all the LOVING-kindness, grace, mercy and prosperity you’ve bestowed on us this past year. In reality Father, one weekend is nowhere near enough to satisfy your goodness. We need to do it each and every day…and even then it still won’t be sufficient.
 
But Father, that’s the beauty and wonder of your unconditional LOVE! Even though our efforts are insufficient, you still LOVE us with a burning passion, because we are your greatest creation. Today, we praise you, we bless your Holy Name and give you our heartfelt thanks, humbly asking that you continue to bless and LOVE us, even though we are unworthy.
 
Please lead and guide us, so that we can do your work down here on earth, all to your honour and glory. We pray this in the blessed name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, by whose stripes we are healed, and by whose blood we’ve been set free from the bondage of sin.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’  
 
Yes Friends, thanks and praise are supposed to be an integral part of every believer’s life! Unfortunately though, we get so caught up in the busyness of life, that we forget it’s our duty.  But the good thing about our wonderful God is that he doesn’t need a whole lot of bowing and scraping to satisfy His desire for praise and thanks.
 
In fact that outward show doesn’t move Him at all! What He requires is a simple, genuine thank you from our hearts. And that we can do at any time, several times throughout the day. Remember, He judges us by the motives that govern our hearts, not by our outward actions, which can be very hypocritical, totally different from our inner desires.
 
So this coming year, let’s try and be a little more thankful during each and every day nuh. Every time something good happens, let’s give our God some genuine thanks! And even when bad stuff happens, let’s still give Him thanks, because we know that eventually He is going to work out all the bad stuff for our good, for our improvement, and promotion. (Acts 8:28)
 
And above all Friends, let’s remember the words of our Bit: ‘Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.’
 
And that is ever so true my brethren! There is none to truly help us but our omnipotent and ever-faithful God! For man’s help is unreliable and often deceitful too.
 
Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that impart that message, starting with some wise words from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down, depressed) O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5)
 
Now that my people is undeniable truth! It brings to mind what we just said above; that even in in rough times we must constantly hope in and praise our merciful God. And we have an excellent example of that in Jonah’s trials; when he disobeyed God’s direction to go to the wicked city of Nineveh and warn them of God’s forthcoming wrath if they did not repent.
 
He foolishly went in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a great fish, which the Lord had prepared to teach him a lesson. He spent three days and nights in the belly of that giant fish before he came to his senses.
 
‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice… Then said I, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple…
 
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land.’ (Jon2:1-2, 4, 7-10)
 
Yes my fellow believers, our God is so wonderful, it’s truly unbelievable! (smile) That’s why He is called the God of second chances! Who else would have made a way out for Jonah after such serious rebellion eh, and given him another chance to do His bidding? None but Jehovah God!
 
Now listen to Bruh Paul as he testifies to King Agrippa, re his conversion and the Lord’s helping hand. ‘For these causes the Jews caught (seized) me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and to great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
 
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show (proclaim) light unto the people, and unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 26:21-23)
 
Oh my people, our God is ALWAYS there for us in times of trouble! Please believe and remember that!
 
And we’ll close with these most encouraging words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16).
 
Oh Friends, please, I implore us to write that indelibly in our hearts, so that we can always remember and act on it, for it is wisdom of the highest order! Now let’s go out and have a blessed day, trusting in, and working on behalf of Jehovah God! Much LOVE!
 
…in all thy ways acknowledge him…and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths…  (Prov.3:6)