Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2021 Matthew 8:26a.

Matthew 8:26a.     ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

A blessed Sunday to you, my fellow believers in Christ! The days are rolling by ever so quickly in these turbulent times that we don’t even have time to notice them. Some of us would like to hide from our individual problems, and those that are plaguing our world, but that’s not a wise idea, especially if you’re a follower of Christ Jesus. We believers need to stand up strong in faith and fight our battles courageously with the awesome help of our Lord and Saviour. It’s all a matter of faith my people, how mature we are in our belief in Him. 

But enough talk, today is Sunday and we are gathered, virtually though it might be, to celebrate the Lord’s Day. So let’s do that nuh, beginning as always, with a song of praise and worship, a song that renews our faith and confidence in the true, living God, He of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And today’s song is meant to do just that. It’s titled ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ 

And the version we are singing today is a reggae version made famous by the Jamaican artist, George Nooks. So, as we are wont to do, let’s raise our voices in harmonious, joyful praise, letting heaven and earth know, without any doubt,where our sympathies and beliefs lie, the true, strong and solid foundation on which our faith is built; none other than Jesus Christ! 

Altogether now, in an up-tempo, reggae riddim: ‘Don’t give up just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion has been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm (Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) 

Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus, and ride out your storm.’ 

Yes people, our only hope for survival is to hold on tightly to Jesus and ride out our storm, for He is theONLY ONEwho can calm the angry seas. And it’s not like the Lord hasn’t promised never to leave nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 in the New Testament reminds of us that. But let’s go right back to the Old Testament nuh, and get it first from Moses, then from the Lord himself. When Moses passed the leadership mantle of the Israelites to Joshua, he told him thus: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:8) 

And if that wasn’t sufficient, when the Lord officially enshrined Joshua as the leader, hear His fateful words to him. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) And a few verses later, the Lord reminded Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) Strong words indeed my brethren, but also ever-faithful ones. 

And before Jesus left us to return to heaven, He made the same promise to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So it’s not like we don’t have word promises, but we also have actual situations where those promises were kept. We’ll just look at two situations with Jesus and the disciples, situations that we all know about, but unfortunately don’t take them as seriously as we ought to in these perilous times. The first is when Jesus, after feeding the five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, sent the disciples across the lake in their boat, while He went up into the mountain to pray. 

But when the boat was in the middle of the lake, a serious storm arose and began tossing the boat to and fro in a wild manner. Obviously, the disciples became fearful, but Jesus knew their plight and came walking to them on the water. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying it is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage), it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:26-27) 

Then we have the episode of Peter going out of the boat and walking on the water towards Jesus. And he was doing very well until he took his eyes off of Jesus, and focused on the wind and the stormy sea, then he became afraid and began to sink and had to implore Jesus to save him, which Jesus did, saying unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt.’ (Matt. 14:28-31) Unfortunately though friends, that’s how it is with us to this day. We start out strong and confident in Jesus, but as soon as the storm begins to seriously kick up, we take our eyes off of Jesus, lose our faith, get scared and begin to sink. 

Then we have the granddaddy of all the examples of losing faith, of not staying focused on Jesus. That time when they were going across the sea in their ship. ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:23-27) 

What can I say eh friends? After spending so much time with Jesus, and seeing so many miracles, the disciples still showed serious fear, even when He was with them. But here are some interesting words on the subject from commentator, Danielle Bernock, from the Christianity.com website. 

‘The significance of Jesus calming the storm is pertinent to what’s happening in our world today and is evidence of God’s love for us. COVID -19 has had a significant impact on our lives. We’re flooded by numerous types of storms daily. These storms are both internal and external. The intense surges of emotion within us are due to our humanity while the chaotic circumstances around us are beyond our control. Right now, many can relate to the disciples’ emotions when Jesus calmed the storm…

There have been many epidemics and even pandemics throughout history, and now we have many skilled scientists in the world. So, it seemed that we were prepared for COVID-19. But as country after country and state after state go into lockdown, the same fear and panic the disciples experienced looms over us. So, when things come upon us suddenly, we find out what’s in our hearts. Like the disciples, fear is coming out of many people’s hearts. It’s an emotion common to being human. 

One might say that the disciples were just being human. All of us during this pandemic are feeling our humanity deeply as fear sweeps across the world like a dark cloud. But Jesus was human too. He often took time away to refresh. During the storm, Jesus was sleeping because he was exhausted from ministry.… A good question for us to ask ourselves as COVID-19 rages is, where is our faith? The disciples spent a lot of time with Jesus and saw him perform many miracles. You would think that they’d have a lot of faith. But in their humanity, it became evident they had more faith that the storm would destroy them than in Jesus saving them. 

Jesus may have rebuked the disciples for their weak faith, but he didn’t abandon them to let them drown. Instead, he calmed the storm and then continued to teach them who he was and demonstrated what it was to have faith in God. Do we have more faith in the pandemic than in the mercy and grace of God? There is not a disease that Jesus was unable to heal. If the fear in us is stronger than our faith, we can turn to God and he’ll teach us because his mercy endures forever. Feeding on God’s word will build your faith and calm the storm raging within you.’ 

And we’ll end with those wise words my brethren. But please, please, let’s take time today, and in the upcoming ones, to ponder those questions that Mr. Bernock has posed, for they are very important to our current situation.Much LOVE!

…if we truly believe in Jesus…there is NO storm that we can’t ride out… 

P.S.Yes, it’s pretty long (smile), but I think it’s all very worthwhile. Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2014 Psalm 107:1

Psalm 107:1.   O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

Oh Friends, the first day of summer 2014 wasn’t bad at all nuh! It got up to about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius, with bright sunshine and a nice, cool breeze. Only hope that will be the norm for the rest of the season yes.
 
Hn, hn! That’s what they call wishful thinking. But if we don’t have hope, what’s the point of living eh?
 
And this Sunday morning my people, we have a wonderful Bit from Psalm 107, God’s wonderful works to the children of men, which does exactly that; give us lots and lots of hope.
 
The psalmist opens his prayer of praise with a powerful and indisputably true statement: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’
 
With that fact my brethren, there can be no argument whatsoever! And why is that? Listen to the psalmist proclaim his reasons: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
 
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:2-7)
 
Yes Friends, those are indeed the actions of a most LOVING and merciful God!
 
Thus the psalmist logically declares: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps.107:8-9)
 
Likewise, in Psalm 106, Israel sins against God’s LOVE, a psalm of national lament, the writer wisely advises in his opening verses: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter (express) the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgement (justice), and he that doeth righteousness at all times.’ (Ps.106:1-3)
 
And that my Friends, is all gospel truth! So let’s remember it, and put it into practice nuh, for it will only benefit us greatly.
 
The prophet Jeremiah also, in talking about the reviving of Judah, LOVINGLY proclaims: ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives of the land to return), as at the first, saith, the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11)
 
How can we not LOVE and revere such a magnanimous, forgiving and merciful God eh my people? We’d be extremely foolish not to!
 
And we’ll close with some similar words and sentiments from Bruh David’s song of thanksgiving after the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
 
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.17:34-36)
 
Yes Friends, let’s praise the Lord God, our Creator, Provider, Shield and Strong Fortress, today and everyday nuh, for He is the ONE, who causes us to draw breath and to live lives of comfort, prosperity and security. Much LOVE!
 
…praise, gratefulness and thanks to Almighty God…should be an integral part of the believer’s lifestyle… 
 
P.S. Wow! Is it ever short today! (smile) So please don’t complain if it’s long tomorrow. Much LOVE!