Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 January 2023 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.        The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Come Sunday, it will be all right… Yes friends, come Sunday everything will be fine as we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary on His day to give Him thanks and praise for His awesome goodness to His children! Nothing could be better than communing with our heavenly Father all in one place at one time. As the Lord’s word reminds us in Hebrews: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE, and unto good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:24-25) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And having been told off in no uncertain terms (smile) let us proceed to interact by offering up some sacrificial praise through this marvellous song of encouragement and strengthening, aptly titled, ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’  And as we raise our voices in sweet harmony, in an up-tempo version of the hymn, let’s do as the website advises: ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ 

We definitely can’t go wrong, doing that my fellow believers. So let God’s people sing: ‘‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms…leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour….’ 

And you’d better believe that there is certainly no better place to lean than on the everlasting arms of Jesus! The story goes that the hymn came about from the letters of two past pupils of Anthony J Showalter, who informed him that their wives had died, and they were seeking consolation. And while answering their letters he was inspired by these marvellous words of comfort found in Deuteronomy 33:27. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ 

Apparently though, Showalter had some problems putting the hymn together, so he approached Elisha Hoffman, a prolific gospel writer for help, and together they wrote the song which was eventually published in 1887. Wow! Another oldie but goldie! And it’s revered as one of the greatest hymns for times of solace, as it encourages us to keep ‘leaning on the everlasting arms’ of God when seeking comfort. 

And why not eh, when Bruh Paul writes it so plainly in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! He comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort others in their time of need! What a simple but every effective way to do it. And that’s one of the reasons why consistent church going is important; you can’t be encouraged if you’re not associating with your fellow believers. And the opening lines of the hymn just exude comfort and consolation. ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine…what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ 

Then the chorus declares: ‘leaning safe and secure from all alarms;’ How could we not like this wonderful hymn eh? And for good measure, let’s hear some more of those comforting sentiments. (smile) ‘Oh how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way…O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ It certainly does my people. Therefore, ‘What have I to dread, what have I to fear, I have blessed peace with my Lord so near.’ Absolutely! 

That’s why the psalmist could unequivocally state in Psalm 91: ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust.’ (Ps. 91: 2) Likewise Bruh David in Psalm 27 was not afraid to proclaim: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1)  And we certainly can’t doubt Moses when he sings in his famous song: ‘The Lord is my strength and song (fortress, defense), and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex. 15:2) 

Yes friends, that magnificent Library of God’s Word, is filled with such sentiments throughout its pages. And not from hearsay either nuh, but from personal experience, thus it‘s ever so important for us to read, study and sincerely consider the many encouraging and uplifting anecdotes found therein. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Lord as He speaks to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites on the death of Moses. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall continually be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s really the only scripture we need to ever learn and follow yes! So please let’s begin doing it seriously and sincerely as of right now nuh. For then we will make our way prosperous and have good success. I‘m sure we all desire that. And it’s right there in the palms of our hands, ready for the taking. So please, let’s be wise and do it. Much LOVE!

…in the storms of life…there is no where else to find true peace and comfort…than leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ our Saviour… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2022 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 now that we’ve come to Wednesday, the middle of the work week, hopefully we can take a restful breath and catch our second wind, especially after the snowfall we endured yesterday afternoon that tied up the traffic and caused numerous problems, as it has the bad habit of doing. (smile) But, as believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected, hard as it might be at times, to rise above the worries and problems of this world, through the leading and guiding of Christ’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

However, that only happens when we listen and are obedient to the Spirit’s guidance. So, to all of us, I plead, please, please, let’s pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit nuh, so that our earthly journeys can be less difficult and frustrating than they otherwise will be. End of sermon! (smile) 

And since the Lord has seen it fit to give us another day on earth to continue His important work, let’s return to those marvellous words of Isaiah that we’ve been studying for the last couple days. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Yes friends, our God is all of those things to His most magnificent creation. Give Him thanks and praise for His goodness to us underserving children of men! 

Now, today we will tackle the last and possibly the most important aspect of them all, ‘he will save us.’ And why is that you ask? Because God can be our judge, lawgiver and king, but if He doesn’t save our sinful souls, we’ll still be ending up in ole hades with the demonic master. So, saving us is of the utmost importance! And Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, knew this, for when prophesying over His sons, said about Dan: ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’ (Gen. 49:18) 

But, being the wise and wonderful Deity that He is, Jehovah God obviously had a plan for that from the very beginning, and made it clear in several passages of His Guide Book for Earthly Living: the Bible. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these magnificent scriptures of the promise of salvation, beginning with these most encouraging and reassuring words from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

He ends the psalm thus: ‘But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps. 37:39-40). And we know that our God doesn’t make idle promises! 

Then Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s restoration to Zion, delivers this message from God: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) All through His word the Lord’s been reassuring His people of salvation and a good end. And Isaiah again, in The song of praise by the redeemed, confidently declares: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, ONLY, the Lord God Jehovah can give us salvation! And He spelt it right out, so that there could be no misunderstanding, through this mighty promise of scripture from Isaiah that we all know, re the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

Oh, what a powerful picture that is my people of our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel! A benevolent ruler, who will eventually bring peace and LOVE to our fractured world! And that Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day and grew into the man who declared His Sonship of God, and the fulfillment of God’s promises, His mighty plans of deliverance and salvation for His people, through these awesome words. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Game, set and match, mih bredrin! Matter done! Salvation has been provided! God’s awesome promises have been fulfilled! And it’s so simple: all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and truly died on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins! John, the apostle, who walked with Christ, agrees and says it thus: ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Wow! None of the other supposed gods make it that easy to come to them. They can’t, because they don’t exist. But the Lord God Jehovah can do so because He is the One True and Living God who has the omnipotent power to save with righteousness and justice! All glory be to His mighty and holy name! 

Ah friends, all I can say is that the option Jesus provides is much better than that provided by the enemy Satan. And since there are only two options, I believe, or rather I know, that Jesus is the wiser choice. However, we each have to make our own decisions. But please remember that there are serious consequences to either choice, and do take the consequences into consideration before making your personal choice. 

For those of us though, who have already made the decision to follow Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Jesus. As one confident voice now: ‘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 as we remind ourselves every Wednesday; if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that encourage us to endure to the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the Saviour of the world…He defeated death…and now offers Eternal Life…to any who believe… 

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