Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2020 Matthew 8:10.

Matthew 8:10.     ​Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

And on this bright Tuesday morning in late September of 2020, this turbulent and overwhelming year, I do hope friends that we are all bright and thankful and ever so grateful that we’ve made this morning’s wake up list! Glory Be! That means the Lord has more stuff for us to accomplish down here on this confusing and disaster filled earth, else He would have taken us home last night. 

Mama Mia! One of the best things we can do every day is to peruse the obituaries and give much thanks that our name doesn’t appear there. (smile) Oh, one day it will, but until then, we have a sacred responsibility to pursue, with diligence and excellence, whatever plan our Creator, Almighty God has purposed for our earthly lives! And one thing is for sure; our great and wonderful God NEVER gives us a task to do without the underlying anointing and grace to do it, and to do it properly too. 

That’s why we have to take the bull by the horns each and every day and work our work in His holy name. And though things will get difficult and heartbreaking at times, we cannot afford to sit down and let life pass us by, and then in our later years be filled with regrets and ‘I should haves.’ That’s why I believe these words of Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional are so important and encouraging for us today. 

This devotion is titled ‘A Life of Regrets.’ And in it, Gramps Schuller says: ‘Suppose you have a great idea, but having surrendered to fear of failure, you let the golden opportunity pass you by. You remain safe from embarrassment but now you are bored. Boredom doesn’t build self-esteem. What does boredom do? It gives you loads of time to think, “It might have worked.” To quote John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been.” 

Yes friends, how often have we already said those sad words in our lives eh? Much too often, I believe. That’s why we can’t allow the fear of failure, or the embarrassment it often brings to keep us back from doing God’s great work! Here’s how Gramps Schuller characterizes it: ‘You grow old, collecting and nursing a multitude of regrets. Why didn’t I do this? Why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I buy it when I had a chance? 

To further depress yourself, you may see someone else seizing the same opportunity. They are successful and you become jealous. The pangs of further jealousy will make you more bitter and inspire further negative thoughts and actions. Thus fear of failure does not protect your self respect – it prevents and aborts it. If you heed your fears you’ll die never knowing what a great person you might have been.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It surely is! When we let fear rule the roost, we abort whatever worthwhile job the Lord has tasked us with! And that certainly doesn’t do His kingdom, or us, any good! And that’s why the Good Book, the Lord’s Word constantly reminds to ‘FEAR NOT!’ No my people, if we want to be successful ambassadors of Christ, we cannot let fear be the uppermost factor in our lives. It has to be faith! One of Jesus’ favourite admonishments was, ‘O Ye of little faith!’ 

Remember his fateful words regarding the Roman Centurion who asked for healing for his servant, and when Christ wanted to go to his house, he said that it wasn’t necessary. ‘I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’ (Matt. 8:8) Now back then that was indeed a big step for a Roman army leader. So much so, that ’When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt. 8:10) 

Now wasn’t that somewhat shameful, that a Roman soldier could show more faith than the Jews, the Chosen People of God, to whom Jesus was specifically sent to heal and to save? It surely was. But that’s how it was back then, and how it still is today. The ones we show special care and affection for are ofttimes the ones who show the least appreciation for it. But it never stopped Jesus from doing His God-given job, and neither should it stop us. We need to persevere and endure in the faith come what may. 

At the end of our time, our words ought to ring out as staunchly and faithfully as Bruh Paul’s last testament to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Yes my people, those are words we ought to be able to say at the end of our lives because we have sincerely kept the faith and diligently ran the race that God had set out for us. And the only way we can do that is by hunkering down in the word, in prayer and actioning all that’s set before us with LOVE, grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, etc. etc. In other words, living our lives truly led by the Holy Spirit and bearing its good fruit.

As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light .’ (Col. 1:11-12) 

Yes precious people of God, persevering through problems and difficulties, and forbearing and forgiving the faults and offences of others is the cross we’re called to bear, just like Jesus did it for us. That’s spiritual understanding which produces the necessary morality and happiness, and how we live in the light of His LOVE!

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 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 now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…when fear comes a-calling…send faith to answer it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2020 Psalm 33:12.

Psalm 33:12.     ​Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Welcome to Friday at last friends! And everybody shouted: ‘Thank the Lord for that yes!’ Ah mih people, in this, our modern society, we can’t seem to get away from the stranglehold Friday has on us nuh. As we said yesterday, it heralds the upcoming weekend and a bit of freedom – never enough though – (smile) from the restrictive embrace of the many tentacles of work that has us uncomfortably wrapped up during the week. 

But that’s life, and God has put us here for this specific time, so we just have to grin and bear it and do what He asks of us with a good and godly attitude. Matter fix! And the beauty of it all is that when we sincerely seek God and do His will, our lives are ever so wonderful! And all God’s people said a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and bless Your Holy Name!’ Now that’s more like it! (smile) 

So let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself today nuh, as he always has some interesting tidbit to impart. And though his knowledge and understanding of God might be merely elementary, he knows to always give thanks to the Creator in his opening remarks. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weekend comes! Not going to be much of a weekend though because it starting to get chilly and the blooming people an’ them out there not observing the safety precautions for the pandemic so the Covid-19 seems like it coming back again! The numbers slowly creeping back up again! Steups! 

Ah don’t know what people need to make them listen nuh? Ah guess is only when the darm thing hit them themselves that they going to smarten up. Chuh man! As soon as yuh give them a li’l leeway, they get stupid and take advantage of it. As the old people would say, yuh give them a inch, they take a nail, or sometimes even a mile! Now they have the bloody government looking to start restricting things again. Ah Lord eh! 

And it look like is the young people an’ them who causing the nonsense now yes, because is people under forty who showing up with the deadly virus now! But we the old folks don’t have nobody but we selves to blame because we never teach them obedience when deh young; we just allow them to run about as they want, just like leggo beast. Now we paying the price for it. The chickens and them coming home to roost now, as we parents always told we they will. But ah still thanking God that ah have life, an’ health, an’ a job, an’ a decent family, as the weekend rolls around!’ 

Oh friends, those of us who can say the same thing, better believe that we truly blessed yes, because it have plenty people out there who don’t have them things at all. So we too had better remember to say, ‘Thank God!’ Remember He is the One who created us, in His own spiritual image to boot. 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none.’ (Ps. 139:13-16) 

Yes my people, the Lord knew all about us before He even created us in our mother’s womb! And furthermore, as Moses told the people of Israel long long ago: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut. 8:18) 

Oh mih bredin, the Lord God Jehovah did not only create us, but He is also the cause for the power that we have to gain wealth, to live a rich and fruitful and joyful life! But this power only lasts for any length of time when we sincerely reverence Him and are obedient to His holy will. The psalmist said it quite clearly: ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’(Ps. 33:12) And Cousin Sol echoes that sentiment, that solemn truth, when he proclaims: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov. 14:34) 

And if the Bible is God’s truth, then what do we expect when we live in such a sinful, evil and ungodly world like ours now eh? Nothing but adversity, trials, tribulation and disaster, for that’s what the Good Book decrees! But the wonderful thing about our great God is that forgiveness and reconciliation are available through belief in His atoning Son Jesus Christ, with sincere repentance and humble prayer! Wow! So let’s get right to it, through our Friday Chant nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

So faithful believers, what are we waiting for eh? Let’s get out there and handle the situation in godly and righteous fashion nuh! Much LOVE!

…time for believers to stop talking…and instead…show forth godly action…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2020 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.     ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:

So it’s Saturday! What’s new with the world eh? Nothing nuh! Just more of the same old, same old; overwhelming evil, violence, hate and strife, with not enough peace, LOVE, forgiveness and godly attitudes to quell those negative enemy traits. But if there’s one thing we believers know, is that there’s a righteous, graceful and merciful God sitting on His throne in the high heavens watching down on us, and contrary to popular opinion He IS in control of ALL things, and in His time, in His own inimitable style, will right ALL that’s wrong with this world, working ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him! 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, so let’s just hang in there in strong faith and blessed assurance, knowing that ALL promises will be fulfilled in due course of time. Now let’s see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Hear this first one, which is simple logic. ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Now that’s obvious isn’t it. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t do the same thing all the time and expect to get a different result.’ 

But that’s exactly what a lot of us do. We keep going round the same mountain with the same attitudes, but expect things to change. That’s impossible friends! And it leads us nicely into this next quote: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.’ And isn’t that the unfortunate truth! That’s why we keep going around the same old mountain, with the same old results. Things will only change when we fess up to our problems, face them squarely in the face and get to work on them! 

Good example is the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years because they were afraid to go into the Promised Land when the Lord told them to. And when they said they were ready, He said no, it’s not your timing but mine. So He let them continue wandering, allowing the old ones to die, while He built up the courage and strength of the younger ones. So that only Joshua and Caleb of those who came out of Egypt ever set foot in the Promised Land. But please note that during all that time, their clothes nor shoes never wore out, and He fed them continually with manna! Such is the magnanimity of our God, even when He’s trying to teach us a lesson. 

Then there’s this: ‘If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis.’ Again, that’s simple logic. But sadly, logic is something that’s being constantly levered out of our society. We’re now been barraged by things and people called ‘influencers’ paid to influence us with their lifestyle, regardless of how foolish or distasteful and useless it is. And too many of us don’t ask questions as to why these things are being done. We just follow them blindly! 

Ah the pull, the power of social media to dictate our lives! Steups! What a foolish, gutless, monkey see, monkey do society we’ve become. Yes friends, we can’t see or understand what’s happening unless we ask questions, and the right ones at that! Let’s wake up and start doing that nuh, instead of merely accepting whatever social media and the supposed experts say nuh! Let’s start charting our own God-led paths, instead of those the world is setting out for us. And here’s one way to do that: ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ 

Not foolishly though. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, but develop a strategy of asking sensible and to the point questions on matters that interest you. Nobody likes a body who just keeps pestering them, asking questions willy nilly, without any good or apparent reason. Questions though, wisely asked and with proper timing can lead to a well-spring of growth and phenomenal understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ of this world and our earthly existence. 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.’ Well how could they eh, when they inherently pertain to growth and progress? The problem though is what we consider growth and progress. Is it the world’s version, or God’s version? I suggest that God’s version is the much better one! Here’s why in a nutshell. This from Jesus, the Son of God, and if He doesn’t know the truth, then who knows it eh? (smile) 

‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:19-20) 

Wow! What wonderful advice my brethren! So if that’s a fact – and if Jesus says so, then it is so – why would I want to have the worldly version of growth and progress eh? Then all my treasures would be liable to theft and ruin by rust and moth. But when I desire the godly version of growth and progress, then all that I achieve is safely stored in heaven. As Peter says so awesomely: ‘To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:4) 

Oh my people, nothing bad or evil can touch anything we store away in heaven, there is never any loss or lessening of our treasures stored there. However, to be able to store away stuff in heaven we need to follow this golden rule – from Jesus again, which means it must be true. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That means we need to have Almighty God as our Number ONE priority!And just like He looked after the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness, He will look after us, granting us ALL the necessities we need for earthly living and also storing up some for us in heaven! 

Now how does the world’s version of growth and progress compare to that eh? Not very well, because all the wealth and power you may amass under the world’s evil prince, can be lost in the bat of an eye, like the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21, where the rich, greedy man decided to break down and build bigger storehouses for his wealth, but that same night the Grim Reaper came calling as he generally does rather unexpectedly. And what did the rich fool leave with eh? Nothing! 

And neither did he have anything stored in heaven, because in his earthly life, he was not rich towards God. So all his earthly work, progress, growth and possessions turned out to be of absolutely no use to him. My people, please let’s learn from his story nuh, and be wise and be rich towards God in our earthly lives. That’s wisdom to the nth degree!Much LOVE!

…earthly things are nice…but heavenly ones look better and last longer… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2020 Psalm 139:17.

Psalm 139:17.    ‘How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

Grace and peace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness to you my fellow saints in Christ from God our Father, this last Sunday of August in this crazy year of 2020! Our heavenly Father desires that we use all those gifts to withstand whatever adversity we’re going through, assured in the knowledge that He cares for us and won’t forsake us under any circumstances. Faith friends, faith, that’s what those gifts ought to grow in us. But enough of me, (smile) it’s Sunday morning, which means it’s time to celebrate the Lord’s Day with some praise, thanksgiving and worship. 

And plenty of us still can’t go to the physical sanctuary and worship together, so we’ll do it by technology, as we’ve been doing for the last how long. Hn! Did you ever imagine there’d come a day when we couldn’t gather together physically and hug and kiss and worship our God? But that’s what faith is all about; even in adversity we find a way to get the job done. 

And to open our worship I decided that the most appropriate hymn for today would be our old favourite written by Johnson Oatman Jr. titled ‘Count Your Blessings!’ That decision was made because yesterday we spoke about having an attitude of continuous prayer and giving thanks in all circumstances, as well as counting our blessings. And you ask, what’s the purpose of counting our blessings? Well it’s simple: ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’ 

Yeh mih people, to keep us joyful in the Lord our God, remembering that the joy of the Lord is our strength. And the website http://www.godtube acclaims: “Count Your Blessings” is a wonderful song to sing any day of the year as a reminder of the many blessings of God, even during hardships. You will feel joy and contentment after joining in with this hymn!’ Wow! 

So since we counted our blessings yesterday, and got such a great number (smile) we should have no problems in bursting out in sacrificial praise this morning. So all together now, in perfect harmony, in an up-tempo beat, let’s remember our many blessings and give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for them. 

‘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. 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.’ 

Yes friends, we did find joy and contentment after singing that song! Oh mih bredrin, when we spend time counting our blessings, we really see what God has done and is still doing in our lives! The website http://www.godtube expresses it this way: ‘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.’ And in this increasingly busy, confused and uncertain world, we all need to make that pause every so often, when the cares of the world start closing in on us. 

Now here’s an amazing scripture form Bruh David from Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer – describing just how marvellous and generous our God is to us. ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order (recounted) unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, for as godtube says above, some of them are so small that we tend to overlook them. 

And in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – Bruh David declares (yesss!): ‘How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:17-18) And if you think that’s all, please listen to Bruh Paul’s greeting to the Ephesians. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul is praising the Lord because He has bestowed all spiritual blessings on His people. And the scholars offer this synopsis of that verse. ‘These spiritual benefits are granted to the believer and are retained in heaven for him, being progressively dispersed to him on earth in accord with his need and spiritual growth….This verse, therefore, makes five points: (1) What has God done? He has blessed us. (2) With what? With every spiritual blessing. (3) When? In eternity past. (4) Where are these blessings? In heaven. (5) How did God do this? By Christ.’ 

Oh precious people, what a marvellous God we serve, one who has our wellbeing uppermost in His mind and blesses us accordingly. I don’t know what more we can ask for nuh. And we’ll end with this interesting quote from whom I don’t know (smile), but it is very relevant. ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ 

Let’s ponder those words today nuh, as we enjoy the Lord’s day. Much LOVE!

…if you are a believer…counting one’s blessings…ought to come naturally… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2020 John 9:4.

John 9:4.     ​I must do the work of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.
 

And then it was Wednesday… ahready? Yes, already! (smile) Unfortunately, it seems that the days are not waiting for a slowpoke like me, they are going about the Father’s business, as they are meant to. And believe me, they are indicating in scowling disapproval, that I should also be about His business instead of pussyfooting around like the idle rich! Yeh, when even the days are disapproving of your behaviour, then you must know that things are bad with you. (smile) 

So what’s a poor man like me to do under those circumstances eh? I guess I ought to do like Jesus said when, on the Sabbath day, He healed the man that was blind from birth. ‘I must do the work of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.’ (John 9:4) Ah my brothers and sisters in Christ, we should indeed do the work of Him who sent us, Jesus Christ, while we have the time, for there will eventually come a time when we cannot work, through death or Christ’s return. 

And then, we’ll all have to answer for the valuable time we wasted in doing everything else, besides winning souls for Christ. Yes friends, that’s our basic job down here on earth; to live a life that’s so reminiscent of Christ, that others will desire to follow Him. But if we’re living in darkness, spiritual darkness that is, we can’t do that job successfully. We have to believe and act as Jesus said: ‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ (John 9:5) 

And that’s no lie! When Jesus was here on the earth in the physical form of man, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He returned to heaven, then we, His believers and followers became the light of the world. As He said so purposefully in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

So it’s not just my imagination (smile) that we ought to be bright shining lights of Christianity in a dark and evil world, Jesus said it very clearly and boldly to all and sundry. And furthermore, He exhorts us with heartfelt passion: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Oh precious people of God, we cannot get away from that exhortation because it’s our very purpose for being in the world: living a life that glorifies our heavenly Creator. 

And I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in man’s history that we’ve ever needed Christians, believers in Christ to stand up and be counted more than we currently do. Yes friends, in these seemingly last and very troubled times, we desperately need to show our mettle, our true Christlike character and nature, so that we can be encouraging beacons of light for those who don’t know Christ or are not very strong in their faith. There is no doubt my brethren, that this is the time for which we who are currently here were made for. And it’s ever so important that in the fear and darkness that’s hovering over our world, that we believers stand forth as lights of the world and salt of the earth! 

Yes, Jesus also did desire us to be salty, that is to have qualities that are refreshing, effervescent, flavourful, preserving and healing; all the many things that salt are good for and used for in our society. He puts it thus: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) Wow! What a damning statement from our leader! 

And it seems He knew what He was talking about, because right now in these very trying and turbulent times, many of His saints have apparently lost their saltiness, not being very refreshing, preservative, effervescent or otherwise and are of no earthly use to the kingdom! Now that doesn’t speak very well of us my people, neither does it reflect very well on our Lord and Saviour, since we are His ambassadors, His representatives down here. 

So please, can I implore us to step up to the plate, for while we’re alive, there’s always hope, and let’s do better than we’re currently doing nuh. Look at what Jesus did for us, and is still doing; stuff that we can never repay! So let’s raise up our faith and put our money and faith and action where our mouths are nuh; in being the salt of the earth and the light of the world as Jesus desires, so that we can be of some real use on our planet and not just idly taking up and wasting valuable space. (smile) 

Remember, it’s all for Jesus! For our Lord and Saviour who sacrificed His all for us, so that we could be reconciled to the Father, our dastardly deeds, our sins forgiven and eternal life in heaven ours for the taking. And all He’s asking is that we stand up strong now and let the world see the LOVE, the mercy, grace, forgiveness and compassion that’s inherent in being a believer. Is that so much to ask? I don’t think so. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our most enviable position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere and fearless hearts. ‘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 I do believe, like Bruh Paul says, that our God can ‘do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.’ (Eph. 3:20) So if we stand strong and endure to the end, He will indeed boggle our human imaginations with His awesome divine power when we get to heaven. Much LOVE!

…time for Christ’s saints…to get real salty…and to let their lights shine real bright… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.     ​But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 

A good Friday morning to you my brethren! Hope the LOVE of God, His tender mercies, compassions and forgiveness have all been bestowed on you this wonderful day, and that you are already in the process of disseminating them to the hordes of those who are not so blessed. Yes my people, that’s our raison d’etre, our reason for being; to spread God’s goodness to those who don’t know Him…and even to those who know Him, but have not wholeheartedly surrendered their lives and placed their eternal trust in Him. 

We need to remember the words of the Good Book: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) Note the important words there; ‘must believe,’ and diligently seek.’ That means we need to give our whole heart, body and soul to God if we truly want to have good and serious communion with Him, not just a part of us, whenever our whim and fancy chooses. And that brings today’s sermon to an end! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. And he cries out in a much louder voice than he has for the last several months: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Mama Yo, the weekend is here, and it don’t look like we done any setta foolishness with this stage three opening of the Covid-l9 lockdown! All praise to God yes! At least we seem to be taking the virus situation a li’l more seriously than them foolish people down in the U.S. Brother! Is what wrong with them though? They don’t have no common sense? If yuh see the thing causing so much deaths and so many problems, yuh not going to pay it serious attention? Steups! 

But I guess they believing the foolish leaders and them who saying that the virus is a hoax, and even if it isn’t, that it going to go away by itself. But even chupid me know that no virus doh go away just so by itself! Ah Lord eh! What is wrong with we in this supposed modern world with so much supposed learning and wisdom eh? 

The problem might be we have too much learning and wisdom, because it seems like the more we learn, the more chupid we get. But what I know eh? I’m just a poor working-class man, slaving for massa, trying mih best to provide for mih family and have a li’l good time mihself. I can’t afford to get tied up in them high class matters nuh. I just going to go about mih own business and keep on thanking God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary working man does have that innate sense of wisdom, common sense, with which God blessed all His creation. The problem is that too few, not enough of us choose to use it. We bow to the foolishness of the world, instead of the common sense of God. and once we turn away from God, we get in trouble! 

And I can’t help making the comparison with the Israelites of old. Remember how many times they turned away from the God of their forefathers and ended up in so much hot water they didn’t know their A from their E? And what did they do when the fire got too hot for them to handle eh? They turned back to the God of their fathers in sincere repentance, and He took them back and forgave them like the wonderful, forgiving Father that He is. 

So why we can’t take a page from their book eh? We’ve been trying to force God out of our society, and it obviously not working, (smile) so why not try the opposite approach eh, invite Him wholeheartedly back in, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic and the strife and racial protests and all the other stuff we can’t handle, killing we? Now that to me sounds like common sense; if one way doh work, try the other. So come with me nuh, leh we go to the Lord in prayer and ask for His help…we doh have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. 

In humble, but confident voice, let us chant our Friday Chant then nuh. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. 

Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And as always, the corollary to what we say, is to go out and put it into action. So let’s go out now and behave like the faithful believers we claim to be nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we truly behave like true believers…then the rest of the world will follow… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2020 1 John 2:2.

1 John 2:2.     ​And he is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
 

Here we go again friends, it’s church time, by whatever means possible! And aren’t we a faithful group? Even with the churches physically closed, we have not faltered in our worship of Almighty God, we’ve found new and insightful ways to do it. But please let’s not get too swell-headed now, and start beating our chests with pride, for right there we fall into rough waters with the Father, for if it’s one thing He dislikes is pride, because it causes us to believe we don’t need Him, and is that ever the furthest thing from the truth! 

And we have the perfect example in the tribulation of worldwide sickness and strife we’re currently facing and can’t handle. So let’s not get too big for out britches and forget the foolish idea that we don’t need God. And I have to chuckle when I think of the multitudes of people who are praying these days who have never prayed before, or haven’t prayed for a long time. Hn! We’re all feeling the pinch and are slowly but surely coming to the realization that God is very necessary in our society. 

So as Papa James Brown would say: ‘Let’s get on the good foot and worship our great God nuh! Worship Him in Spirit and in truth!’ And we’ll begin by singing a song of praise; a li’l soulful Christian ditty titled ‘I come to the Cross,’ written by Bob Somma and Bill Batstone at the turn of the 21st century. So with the appropriate heart-felt sincerity, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise in strong voice and soulful harmony. 

‘I come to the cross seeking mercy and grace, I come to the cross where You died in my place. Out of my weakness and into Your strength, Humbly, I come to the cross. I come to the cross seeking mercy and grace, I come to the cross where You died in my place. Out of my weakness and into Your strength, Jesus, I come to the cross. Your arms are open, You call me by name, You welcome this child that was lost. You paid the price for my guilt and my shame, Jesus, I come, Jesus I come, Jesus, I come to the cross. 

I come to the cross seeking mercy and grace, I come to the cross where You died in my place. Out of my weakness and into Your strength, Jesus, I come to the cross. Jesus, I come, Jesus I come, Jesus, I come to the cross Your arms are open, You call me by name, You welcome this child that was lost. You paid the price for my guilt and my shame, Jesus, I come, Jesus I come, Jesus, I come to the cross Jesus, I come to the cross…Jesus, I come to the cross….’ 

And that my people is the best place we can ever go for whatever ails us; right to the foot of Jesus’ cross, for it’s there that He died; died in our place to pay for our sins! Hear how John puts it: ‘My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not (may not sin). And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:1-2) 

Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! Jesus paid for all the sins of the world, once and for all. There’s no more atoning for sins again. And He’s also advocating for those of us who sin! Wow! I guess you’d call that a double play, or a double whammy! As the scholars explain. ‘2:2. Propitiation is here an atoning sacrifice. Jesus bore in His body the punishment due us for our sin; in so doing He ‘propitiated’ God, satisfied God’s just demand that sin be punished. Thus Jesus is both the advocate for sinners (vs.1) and the sacrifice for their sins.’ 

Yes He was the sacrificial lamb, the sinless, flawless lamb who’s shed blood paid for all of our wrongdoing. For as the author of Hebrews declares (yesss!): ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’ (Heb. 9:22) And the scholars tell us: ‘9:22. On the basis of the preceding verses (19-21- where Moses sprinkled blood over the tabernacle and the vessels of the ministry) the author concludes two things: (1) the law seems to require that almost everything be purged with blood; and (2) there is no remission, forgiveness without the shedding of blood.’ 

Thus the unblemished body of Christ was sacrificed so that His sinless blood could be used to pay for our sins. That’s why the cross is so important in our Christian faith, for without it, our sin debts would not have been paid in full. And consequently the Good Book tells us that amongst other things, the blood of Christ washes and cleanses us and our robes (Rev. 7:14); that we overcome the enemy also by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of our testimony…’ (Rev. 12:12) That’s why we can truthfully proclaim that there is power in the blood! 

So when we are seeking mercy and grace and strength, and whatever else we need to live this life, we need to start at the cross of Jesus, for He is both our intercessor, and our sacrifice. And without the cross our faith would be nothing! And we’ll end with these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. 

‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation.’ (Rom.5:8-11) 

So friends, I’ll tell us once again that Jesus is the answer to ALL of our problems! Much LOVE!

…wisdom decrees that the created…turn to the Creator…in times of need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2020 John 3:3.

John 3:3.    ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 

‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again…’ Sing it with me please friends: ‘Beautiful days are here again… Beautiful days are here again…. Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, the days themselves have recently been physically beautiful, but what’s been happening within them, is a completely different story. 

But as children of God, imbued with His awesome power of word and mind, we need to see it all by faith and not by sight, we have to call it as we want it to be, not as it is. That’s why we’re singing: ‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again… Glory Hallelujah!’ And they will be, in the Lord’s time, as all our current difficulties and troubles will eventually pass – if only to make room for new ones, (smile) but pass they will, that we can be sure of! 

And I know that many of you are just dying to hear what our friend Anselm said this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. So here goes. The first quote advises: ‘Dream bigger. Do bigger.’ I guess the psychological principle is being invoked here, of the bigger you dream, the bigger will be your results and success, as compared to small dreams which reputedly only bring small success. 

Yes, there is this theory that if we want ten, we need to dream for twenty, because we always seem to get less than what we dream for. My only contention with all of that is we also need to realize that the bigger we dream, it’s the more responsibility and work we’ll have to contend with. So if you don’t want those last two, then don’t do the first one. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘Little things make big days.’ And we Christians ought to be more aware of that then the rest of the world, because that’s the way our great God usually works in our lives. But then again, that’s why so many of us are lost and can’t fathom why miracles aren’t happening in our lives…because we have this mindset that miracles are big, newsworthy things, when in fact miracles in God’s understanding are small, everyday occurrences. If we look at the small happenings in our lives, we’ll see that on a daily basis the Lord does something that doesn’t all add up in our way of thinking. Those are the daily miracles, the small things we need to look for and appreciate. 

It’s like the Jews who knew a Messiah was coming to save them, but they mistakenly taught that it was a warrior statesman who would rid them of their enemies and slave-like conditions. But in fact it was a simple rabbi coming to sacrifice His life, so that their sins could be forgiven and give them another option besides merely going to hell at death. 

They didn’t want that though, they wanted the now for now physical solution to their earthly life. But unfortunately friends, life doesn’t always go as we desire. So let’s be wise and look for, and appreciate the small things in life nuh, because that’s where we usually find God, more often than in the big things. 

And this next quote should be self-explanatory: ‘Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.’ Yes mih bredrin, we ought to wake up determined to do something good for God…and do it too! Each and every day, let’s put in a sincere and genuine effort, and if we can, bring some good work to fruition, so that both God and us can be satisfied with our days efforts, as we lay us down to sleep. That’s how I understand it. (smile) 

And what about this one eh? ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.’ That’s gospel truth friends, and we need to hear it ever so much, especially in this soft, pampered and fragile society in which we currently live, where everybody gets tired so quickly, and are quick to stop, to give up, when they aren’t seeing any quick positive results. 

But believers are not supposed to be of that ilk. We’re supposed to keep on keeping on, go the extra mile, don’t stop till we’re done! When we’re tired, that’s when we take a deep breath, catch a second wind and get back into the race. There’s no stopping for believers until Christ takes us home…and even then, we’ll be continually celebrating and regaling Him in heaven, so our work is never done…just getting more enjoyable! (smile) 

And as always, we’ve left the best for last. ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’ And the best thing we can ever do for ourselves, today, or any other day that we’re alive, is to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! Yes friends, it’s what our great God greatly desires of us, that’s why He sacrificed Jesus on Calvary’s cross to pay for our sins. 

Sins that would have caused eternal death and separation from the Almighty, but through Jesus’ sacrificial payment, we now have the option to come to Him in reconciliation and forgiveness and receive the free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life, eternal dwelling with Him in what we call heaven, a place of unimaginable beauty and exceptional living. 

As Jesus so plainly stated to Nicodemus when he came asking for information. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ And when Nicodemus queried Jesus’ answer, He further explained: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whiter it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:5-8) 

So my brethren, the best thing we can ever do today for our future lives is to be born again! There needs to be a new work from above in our sinful lives, a new beginning; a supernatural spiritual birth is called for if we want to enjoy God’s kingdom. That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…eternal life calls for…two births…one earthly…one spiritually…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So 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 though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.    ​ But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
Oh friends, they might close down the physical buildings we call the church, but they can’t stop the real church; the people, the faithful followers of Christ Jesus! That’s why we continue having church by whatever means possible, for with Jesus as our Lord and Leader anything is possible. So on this the Lord’s Day, in the time of the Coronavirus, let’s get together and have church nuh; sing praises, pray, give thanks, listen to the Word and be energized and encouraged, as our motto for this rough season, Bruh Paul’s marvellous words to Timothy remind us: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (self-control, discipline).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Oh my people, now is the time that the church, those who truly believe in Jesus, has to stand up strong and LOVE and pray the world back to safety, bring it out of it’s current dark spell into the miraculous light of Jesus. So, as always, we’ll begin with song, giving praise and worship to the Most High God Jehovah with a beautiful hymn from way back when, one of the many composed by the great Irish hymn writer, Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895). It was possibly my most favourite Easter time hymn when I was growing up in Tobago, some sixty years ago. It’s titled ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away.’ 

They claim that Mrs. Alexander wrote the hymn when she was only 20 years old. That’s why it could be described as ‘a work of exquisite purity and tenderness of youth.’ And that’s possibly why it appealed to me at a tender age. (smile) The inspiration for the hymn is said to have been drawn from a couple of places. First from the Apostles Creed, especially the line: ‘Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.’ And secondly from ‘a large grass-covered mound outside of her home town of Londonderry which put her in mind of the hill in the Holy Land, beyond Jerusalem’s gates ‘where our dear Lord was crucified.’ Who knows which one is right, though both could be? 

But with all of that info, let’s get down to some sweet, soulful and sincere singing that will make Jesus blush. (smile) Let’s heap the praise on Him! ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood. There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’ 

Oh, was that ever harmonious and praise worthy! And did Jesus ever blush! But every word we sang was true! And I like what one web site said about the hymn. ‘The writer gives substance and answer to those who inquire why Jesus died. She talks about God’s forgiveness. She speaks of how man can reclaim his original close relationship with God and suggests the only possible response is the total giving of LOVING self. The event was for us.’ And was it ever for us friends! Jesus’ sacrificial death on that old rugged cross at Calvary was ALL about and ONLY for us! As the hymn so rightly says: ‘He died to save us all!’ 

There’s no doubt about why He underwent such horrific suffering…that we might be forgiven, to make us good, so that we could receive salvation and eventually go to heaven and enjoy eternal life with Him. That’s it in a nutshell my brethren! It so happens that He was the ONLY one who could pay the high price the Father needed to forgive our sins; an unblemished, sinless sacrifice. And yes it required blood, because sins can only be atoned for with the shedding of blood, since the wages of sin is non other than death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) And that’s exactly what Christ’s death on the cross accomplished. 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Rome. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom. 5:19) Wow friends! When I think of all that Christ’s death and resurrection did, I’m totally amazed! It paid our sin death in full, for all time, giving us an option to obtain individual forgiveness, where before we were staring eternal damnation with Satan straight in the face. For as Hebrews says: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That states it loud and clear! 

It also reconciled us to the Father, with whom we were estranged from since Adam and Eve sinned. It justified us, making us righteous in God’s eyes. It sanctified us, causing us to be set apart for God’s good purpose and work. And the life blood that flowed from His bruised and beaten body cleanses us. Mama Mia! And He did all that simply because of His obedience to the Father, who LOVED us so much that He was willing to pay the high price He Himself set in His righteousness and justice! And there are no better words of scripture to end with this morning than these momentous words of Bruh Paul again 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 (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom. 5:6-11) 

Ah mih people, Christ’s death was vicarious, meaning He died in our place, and His shed blood brought us salvation, but His resurrection, His life, sustains that salvation. And it all happened because of the Father’s great LOVE, and Christ’s exemplary obedience and selflessness. That’s why ‘we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do!’ Much LOVE!

…without Christ’s death and resurrection…there’d be no heaven…nothing but hell…

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