Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2020 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
 
One more Sunday without corporate worship my fellow believers… But that’s okay, just like our overwhelming technological society has driven us away from God, that same technology will now help us come back to Him! Glory to God and the mysterious ways in which He works! So we will worship by radio, TV, internet, telephone, whatever it takes. Believers can be very astute innovators when the time calls for it. (smile) So let’s have church nuh; with praise and worship and thanksgiving and the Word of God to keep us bright and fresh, assured and energized and courageous in these turbulent and unsure times.  And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do by opening today’s proceedings with a marvellous song. Oh my people, my people, it’s going to be a wonderful day of worship, so let’s get to singing this most appropriate contemporary song written by Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding down under (Australia) back in 2015. It’s elegantly titled: ‘What A Beautiful Name!’ And it’s obvious that they are referring Jesus, for there’s no other name in all the universe as beautiful as His. And if you don’t know the song you can check it out on YouTube, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir or the Times Square Church Choir versions. 

So let’s belt out a harmonious, soulful, rocking version a la Times Square Church Choir, beginning with (Chorus 1: ‘What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a beautiful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) You were the Word at the beginning One with God the Lord Most High Your hidden glory in creation Now revealed in You our Christ. (Chorus 1: What a beautiful name it is…. The Name of Jesus.) You didn’t want heaven without us So Jesus You brought heaven down My sin was great Your LOVE was greater What could separate us now. 

(Chorus 2: What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a wonderful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) (Bridge: Death could not hold You The veil tore before You, You silence the boast of sin and grave The heavens are roaring The praise of Your glory For You are raised to life again You have no rival You have no equal Now and forever God You reign Yours is the kingdom Yours is the glory Yours is the Name above all names. 

(Chorus 3: What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a powerful Name it is Nothing can stand against it What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus. What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is. What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is. What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is… The Name of Jesus Christ my King… The Name of Jesus Christ my King…’ 

Mama, Mama! Was that ever moving my brethren! You could hear the sincerity in our voices, rising from the depths of our hearts! And the harmony was truly awesome! Wow! And as usual, Jesus sits at the Father’s side with a shy, boyish smile, acknowledging our praise and gratitude, but not really wanting to be in the limelight. And you know what? I found something written by the composers on the Hillsong Worship site explaining some of their thoughts about the song, and it sounds much better than anything I could write, so I’ll just share it. 

The core scriptures for the song were Hebrews 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-20, 26-27. And they go on to say: “To know God and to worship Him (“to enjoy Him forever) is the most fundamental reason for our existence. As Jesus reveals the great mysteries of God, we come to know more of who God is, glimpsing new facets of His beauty, wonder and power. “Beauty” evokes the tenderness of His LOVE and the sweetness of His presence. “Wonder” speaks to our gratitude for salvation, awe at the length of His sacrifice. “Power” affirms His supremacy and Sovereignty – an exhortation to remember our access to the power of God in every situation, as we call upon and declare the Name of Jesus. 

‘What a beautiful name it is What a wonderful name it is What a powerful name it is The Name of Jesus.’ Jesus has the Name above all others. Anything that we can name – from our greatest triumphs to our greatest challenges – comes under the authority of His Name. This song confesses that no greater beauty or source of wonder exists outside of Jesus, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb.1:3). The song is also a statement that Jesus has no rival or equal. His power is unmatched and absolute. Perhaps some of us understand God LOVES us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but haven’t grasped His power, ability and will to move strongly in our present circumstances. 

Or perhaps, we understand God as the supreme, omnipotent Deity He is, but have never known Him close and tender, as a friend acquainted with the depths of our humanity, knowing our flaws cannot perturb His LOVE. Our prayer for this song is that we can all enter into a deeper, more lateral, revelation of the person of Jesus Christ – the epitome of beauty!” 

Wow! How is that for a sermon in these troubled times eh? I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of the writers. This is the time for ALL of us to come to a strong understanding and appreciation of the wonderful, powerful and beautiful Lord and Saviour that we have dwelling in us, with us, and around us! Whose abounding and everlasting LOVE caused Him to selflessly sacrifice His holy life for us on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be redeemed! 

No wonder the Good Book excitedly declares: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) That seals the case friends! Matter fix! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is…El Numero Uno…no ifs, ands or buts about it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2020 Isaiah 52:12.

Isaiah 52:12.    ​For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).

 

Then it was Wednesday… and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that they had survived, gotten through the most onerous part of the work week and the rest was just cool sailing until their big day of Friday came around again! It’s surprising how we are creatures of habit yes friends. We begin on Monday like a storm assailed vessel, writhing in the throes of agony, can’t make head nor tail of anything…then by Wednesday the storm has calmed and the ship has righted itself…then we look forward to clear and calm sailing as we round the bend of life and see heaven on Friday. (smile) 

But my people, there is no reason whatsoever to fear the storms of life and wait until Friday before we experience a slice of heaven, for the Lord our God made an ever-faithful promise to us long long ago through the prophet Isaiah, that He will deliver Zion (Jerusalem) from captivity by the hands of His suffering servant, the Messiah. ‘For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).’ 

Oh friends, if the Lord promised it, then you can rest assured that it will happen. Yuh see how He guarded and guided the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt? ‘ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:21-22) 

Wow mih breddren! What a mighty and faithful God we serve! He guided the Israelites through the wilderness, assuring them of His enduring and powerful presence, protecting them from their enemy back then. And He has not forgotten us, those who have come after. 

Listen to this immortal promise: ‘Behold, my suffering servant shall deal prudently (prosper), he shall be exalted and extolled (lifted up), and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle (startle) many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.’ (Is.52:13-15) 

That’s what you call prophecy! (smile) Now listen as the scholars explain: ‘52:13-15. These verses actually stand as the introduction to the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in chapter 53. The subject of both passages is the servant of the Lord individualized as the Messiah who suffers for our sins. He is the culmination of all of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies. He is the miraculously born Son of the Virgin – Immanuel, “God with Us” (7:14; cf. Matt. 1:23). He is the Branch (11:1) who springs up out of the stump of the Davidic line. 

He is the new David (9:7) who will bring in a new Exodus and a new redemption for the people of Israel. Further, He is the One who deserves to rule the world because He is the One who suffers redemptively for all humanity. The terms exalted and extolled, and be very high are used only in 33:10 and here, but nowhere else in the prophets. It refers to the ultimate and final exaltation of His spiritual glory. Thus He will not remain in the humiliation which is described here but will rise above it (cf. Phil. 2:9-11). 

There is a deliberate contrast between the many who are astonished and the kings who will shut their mouths at him. The idea is that both the common man and the potentate will stand speechless in awe of Him. His visage refers to His appearance (or face), which will become so marred (disfigured) by beatings and scourgings that He will be barely recognizable. The verb for shall he sprinkle is a technical term found in the Mosaic Law for the sprinkling of blood in order to cleanse or purify from sin. 

This reference has nothing to do with water baptism. Here the servant of the Lord is viewed as our High Priest who offers His own blood for our sins. Before this Suffering Servant, the nations of the world are rendered speechless as they observe this unbelievable demonstration of God’s LOVE.’  

All I can say is ‘Wow, friends, Wow!’ Yuh see how the coming of Jesus was prophesied right down to the nth degree! All that we talked about there has happened already, or will happen in the Lord’s time. So remember, Jesus Himself spoke of His coming again in glory: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) 

Please be careful then friends, for remember what was prophesied by Isaiah about Jesus came through, so it’s fairly certain that what Jesus says will also come through. So let’s not be found on the outside looking in when He comes again nuh. For the wise money is on Jesus: He’s the odds on favourite; the One who can’t lose! 

So let’s wisely align our lives with him nuh: The One whom ‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) 

Now that ought to seal the deal people! Jesus is officially the NAME above every other, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! And it’s ALL to the glory of the Father…as it ought to be, for He is the One who made the plan and carried it out, based on His undying, everlasting and unconditional LOVE for us! So let’s acknowledge Him with gratitude and reverence as we declare (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting everyone know our wonderful position in Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere 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!’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! And what a glorious future that will indeed be. Our puny minds can’t even picture how glorious it will really be! Much LOVE!

…the most important name we can ever call…JESUS…!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2020 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.    ​So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 
Yeah! It’s the first day… the first day of the week my brethren. It’s Sunday…all day! And you know what that means, the church doors are open ready to welcome whosoever wants to come, but hoping that everybody will come. Yeh friends, that’s the hope of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that all will come to salvation and thus become a member of His earthly organization called the church, and, on a regular basis, show their faces at the physical structures created for those blessed members to come and celebrate, give thanks and praise and receive heavenly succour, so that we can go about His business the upcoming week with vim and vigour, zest and godly energy! 

And for those of us who have accepted that glorious invitation, let’s begin the proceedings as we always do, with a song, a song of worship and thanksgiving, praise and gratitude. And today’s song is a popular hymn with lyrics by Judson Van De Venter and music by Winfield Weeden, published in 1896, and appropriately titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ And do we ever need to do that…totally and completely, if we want to enjoy the good and abundant life He has planned for us. So let’s tell Him so now nuh, with sincere hearts and voices raised in praiseful sacrifice. 

As one soulful and harmonious choir: ‘All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His Name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all… I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all…’ 

Ah friends, I do hope we were all sincere in that sacrifice of praise because the Lord is going to look at our hearts and check our motives, and if we weren’t sincere then we’ll have to answer why and not be blessed as we desired. And the whole thing is simply about surrender my people, surrender to the one who gave His sinless life to atone for our sins and made us right with God, gave us the wonderful option of eternal salvation by His resurrection, and is still advocating for us with the Father. It’s a normal requirement my brethren, if we want to enjoy the fruits of His efforts. 

Look at how we give our allegiance to earthly organizations, many of whom don’t do a blooming thing for us! Why then should it be so difficult to give our all to Jesus, who gave His all for us eh? We’re just being selfish and greedy and carnal. But Jesus made it quite clear when He spoke about counting the cost of discipleship. The Good Book says: ‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27) 

Wow friends, it sure looks like being a disciple of Jesus is not for the sorrowful or fainthearted! (smile) And Jesus certainly doesn’t want us to hate out families, because He is all about LOVE. He’s just saying that Him and His business must come first. Hear the scholars with some explanations. ‘14:25. Jesus had gained a wide hearing. Here was the temptation to water down the demands that discipleship entail. Yet in the following verses Jesus clearly does just the opposite.’ 

‘14:26. In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either/or that this verse sets up.’ Then Jesus in His inimitable style goes on to talk about building a tower and contemplating war, where the costs of both have to be considered before any serious commitments are made. (Luke 14:28-32)  

And the scholars say those verses are only found in Luke. And Jesus pinpoints the major lesson of the two stories in verse 33, which states: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ Yeh friends, to truly follow Jesus, one ought to count the cost. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but with His awesome help we can all handle it if we seriously commit our lives to Him. We have to be ready to give up a lot of stuff on His behalf. 

Remember the rich young ruler that came and wanted to be His disciple? (Matt.19:16-22) Jesus told him to first go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor and thus store up treasure in heaven then come back and follow Him. The young man went away sorrowful, because he had a lot of possession. Jesus didn’t really mean for Him to literally sell everything, but was merely testing His resolve. 

According to the scholars, His outward righteousness seemed fine, but he hadn’t really kept the commandments because his wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness; he LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour, the poor. And he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God. This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be Christian. 

So don’t worry my rich and well off friends, you don’t have to go and sell your possessions to be a disciple of Christ. (smile) But you do have to pick up your cross daily and follow Him, as He says early on in Luke. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now that’s the crux of the message my people: everyday we have to be willing to stand strong in His name and do whatever it takes to further His kingdom. Are we doing that in a satisfactory manner? I don’t think so, otherwise Christianity would be much stronger and much further ahead. So please, let’s spend some time today pondering our individual situations nuh, and ask the Lord to help us do better, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…discipleship…means to be willing to forsake one’s self…every day… for Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2020 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.
 
And the snow did fall…in copious quantities too, but thankfully my information was wrong, we were only going to get 15 cm of snow, not the 50 I wrote about yesterday. However, the east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador did receive a solid walloping over the weekend culminating in some 70 cm of the white stuff. Obviously everything was shut down under such a blanket of snow, with power outages and other necessities sadly lacking. 

Apparently even the snow trucks had to be taken off the road, since the blizzard was so bad that visibility was impossible. Friends, please, let’s pray for them and offer any other help that we can, because we never know when it will be our turn to be in such a despairing and disastrous situation. 

So closer to home now, the snow is finished falling but we had some freezing rain overnight and with the drop in temperature, it’s possibly slick and icy out there. So please be careful if you’re venturing out. And please don’t use the weather conditions as a convenient excuse not to go to church, (smile) although some of us will find it extremely difficult, even impossible to get out and about. 

And having said all of that, let’s turn to our multi-purpose in the Lord’s sanctuary today; to worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise from sincere and overflowing hearts of gratitude, to enjoy sweet and encouraging fellowship with other believers, to hear the awesome Word of God which refreshes and renews us and gives us oodles of confidence and reassurance to face the fallen world in which we live! 

Now how can we get all of that if we don’t go to church eh, or have a gathering of two or three somewhere convenient? For Christ did say that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, that He would be right there in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20) So if only a small gathering is possible, then so be it, but a big gathering would be nicer. (smile) And today’s opening song of worship is indeed very appropriate for these troubled and disastrous times. It’s aptly titled ‘Lord I Need You’ 

And do we ever need Him friends, so let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we call out to our Lord and Saviour for the help that only He can give. ‘(Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without You I fall apart You’re the One that guides my heart (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) 

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are And where You are, Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You Jesus, you’re my hope and stay. Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You. I need You every hour, Oh Lord how I need You…Oh how I need You. yes Lord, I need You, every hour of every day…That’s how much I need you.’  

Ah mih people, from all of that we should see how desperately we need Jesus Christ and all that He stands for. And what is a need you ask? Here’s something from a website that I forgot the name. But it says: ‘A need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. food, water, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. 

When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as water, air, food and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialize or belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychological and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, and form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, biology, psychology, social science, economics, marketing and politics.’ 

And yes we need all of those things, but even more importantly we need things like spiritual protection, the ability to confess our sins and know we’re forgiven, a place of rest to lay down our burdens, someone to guide us, to help us with righteousness, to provide grace and mercy, freedom from worry and anxiety, a strong tower to fall back on, not forgetting strength and faith to stand strong against temptation! Yes friends, we do need a lot, and Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy it ALL! He is indeed our ‘hope and stay!’ 

And there’s no better verse in the Good Book that guarantees our needs than Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians, after they sacrificed from their little to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: 4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) that the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their need (1) according to his riches, that is in proportion to His unlimited resources: (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

Ah friends, once we have Jesus, we don’t need anything, or anybody else! Let’s remember that and put our whole faith and trust in Him nuh, because He will see us faithfully through this live unto the next one, and long thereafter. Much LOVE!…

so let us come boldly (confidently)…to the throne of grace…that we may obtain mercy…and find grace…to help…in time of need… (Hebs. 4:16)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2019 Matthew 4:19.

Matthew 4:19.    ​And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
 
Welcome to another glorious day friends…! And we talking here about the overall day, not just the physical weather pattern, which by me, for the last few days, have been dark and damp and dreary. It’s just great to be alive and kicking and enjoying all the benefits of living for Christ, like the new mercies and compassions that are new every single day! 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my faithful brethren! I know some of you tired hearing me say that, but it’s the gospel truth, and if we are indeed true believers, we ought to acknowledge it with pleasure, each and every day, because it’s the same wonderful God, who breathed His awesome breath into our nostrils at birth and keeps us alive and kicking every day and provides ALL of our benefits, both earthly and heavenly. So how can we not be grateful eh? Gratitude friends…gratitude. The next best thing after LOVE! Matter fix! (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he expounds: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend cometh, and no work until Monday! Have been on holidays all week though. And it’s certainly been a great Christmas week! Forgot how good it is to spend time at home with the family and have friends drop over to celebrate Christmas. The old bod is well rested…but satiated with food and drink though. The children liked their presents and so didn’t behave like spoiled brats, as they can do when they’re not happy. 

Oh, the wife was also thrilled with her presents…even got a nice big hug and sweet, long kiss from her. Mama! Could certainly use some more of those yes. But life so busy, we don’t find that much time to enjoy ourselves together. But I promised her, and mihself too, that this coming year of 2020, we going to make time to get away to some romantic place, just the two of us…can’t wait for it to happen. Yes, life ain’t bad at all! It ain’t always easy, but you just have to take it with a grain of salt, else it surely going to drive you crazy. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth. Life isn’t easy, but if you face it with the right attitude, it will surely turn out all right. So what’s the right attitude, you ask? Well it starts by having Jesus Christ in your life as El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And then sticking to stuff like what’s contained in our Friday Chant. Let’s chant it loud and proud now nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s our basic job; to help unbelievers come to Christ! And the verse that I was led to for today’s Bit is ever so appropriate in conjunction with out Friday Chant. Hear these immortal words of Jesus as He called Peter and his brother Andrew to work for Him. ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Now that’s the same call Christ has issued to each one of us who claim to be His follower. And we all know that He doesn’t lie, He keeps every promise He makes! 

So why are so many of us so reluctant and hesitant to truly follow Christ eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe, or simply think it will interfere with our carnal or earthly lives? Oh yes, I think we need to take a moment’s thought before doing it, and I’ve always been amazed at how the first disciples didn’t even seem to contemplate it, just got up and followed Jesus when He called. The Good Book puts it this way: ‘And they (Peter and Andrew) straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:20) 

Wow! They simply left all their equipment and their livelihood and followed this poor, itinerant Rabbi, whom they didn’t even know. And if you think that was amazing, then listen to this next part. ‘And going on from thence, he (Jesus) saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:21-22) Wonder of wonders! James and John just upped and left their poor father Zebedee and followed Jesus. How many of us would ever do that eh? Not many. 

But the scholars make this rather true and appropriate statement as to the situation in verse 22 above. ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the Lordship of Christ.’ And does it ever! No hesitation or reluctance to His call is what the Lord would prefer from us, but knowing our frailties and weaknesses and fears, He ofttimes gives us a li’l leeway, but He doesn’t relent or reverse the call. And the longer you take to accept it, the more difficult He makes your life. 

And I can tell you that from personal experience. When He first approached me about writing the Bit, I laughed and said I couldn’t because I didn’t know enough scripture. But He kept up the call, and suddenly I found some obstacles in my way that seemed rather strange and unnecessary. He eventually wore me down and I began writing a verse or a few lines every day. And over the last thirteen years, I’ve certainly learned of His amazing faithfulness, in that whatever He gives you to do, He also gives you the tools to do it and helps you too. Do you think I write all the stuff in the Bit every day in my own strength? Not on your life! The Lord helps me everyday! 

So friends, my best advice is, whenever the Lord calls, our best and wisest reaction is to immediately ask, ‘how high do you want me to jump Lord?’ (smile) Because, He’ll just keep upping the bar every time you refuse His offer, until you have no choice but to eventually accept it. (smile) Much LOVE!

…when the Lord wants you…He will get you…come what may…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2019 Proverbs 13:17.

Proverbs 13:17.    ​A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.
 
Well I hope we all had a good and pleasant weekend, filled with God’s mercy and compassion, and were not too traumatized by the inclement weather a lot of us had to undergo. (smile) But be that as it may, today’s that great day we call Monday, where we get our acts together and get out and face the music! So what we waiting for eh? Let’s do it nuh! Yeh, I know, there will always be some laggards, some of us who are just not up to it, for whatever reason. But don’t despair because we have you covered. 

Our great God has taken all possibilities into consideration and has designed this one specially for our Monday morning ills. It’s titled our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it gets us fighting ready for battle with the devious and deceitful enemy. So as one pleading, but humbly hopeful and expectant voice, let’s take our problem to the halls of heaven nuh, where our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is there waiting to take our case to the Father. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And with a wonderful Advocate like Christ on the case, what else can we expect but VICTORY! Yes friends, almost immediately, we all feel the renewing of our spirits and the overwhelming enthusiasm filling our souls through the miraculous working of God’s Holy Spirit! And now we’re just bursting with a flaming desire and seemingly inexhaustible energy to get out into the evil world and knock some sense into some foolish heads on Christ’s behalf! 

But the truth of the matter is that Jesus doesn’t really want us to physically knock sense into the heads of those who refuse to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, but rather to teach them, by the quality of our lives, our own LOVE, care and compassion for them in this rough and tumble world. For remember, as the man said so long ago, (smile) … Oh brother, now I can’t remember the rather appropriate quote from the 18th century novel, ‘Joseph Andrews’ by Henry Fielding. Steups!  But in today’s parlance it boils down to something like actions speak louder than words. And indeed they do. 

Thank God for computers yes, they do serve some useful purposes sometimes! (smile) I got the bright idea to google the book and author’s name, and lo and behold, much to my surprise, there it was; the whole book. But all I needed was the first line of the first page: ‘It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.’ Wow! It’s amazing how that passage has stuck with me, having read it fifty something years ago in High School. 

That means our lives, as living examples for Christ, will touch others much more than what we say to them. It’s like people will forget what we say, but not how we treat them. That’s why Jesus encourages us to be good salt and bright lights in the world, leading exemplary lives. Note, not perfect ones, but as close as we can get. Remember we’re supposed to be ambassadors for Christ, His earthly  messengers, and in the wise words of Cousin Sol: ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health’ 

That’s why in this world ambassadors are carefully chosen and have to know a fair amount of the culture and laws and mores of the places where they are sent, so they don’t bring shame and disgrace or trouble to their country or government. Likewise friends, we can only be good ambassadors for Christ if we read and study and inculcate His Word, so that we know what to do and how to live in this evil world, so that we don’t bring disgrace to His name and His kingdom. For as Cousin Sol also says: ‘For as the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.’ (Prov.25:13) 

Are we refreshing Christ’s soul with our earthly lives friends? No wonder Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (on Christ’s behalf), be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Cor. 5:20-21) Yes my people, it’s all for Christ’s sake! How can we not settle down and be good ambassadors for Him eh, after the Lord put our sins on Him, and His righteousness on us? 

So this Monday morning, as we’re in the process of celebrating Christ’s birth, please, I implore us, let’s take a serious look at our ambassadorship in His name and with God’s help try to make it better. We can all come up higher for Christ, that’s a fact! Much LOVE!

…for what Christ has done for us…a worthy ambassadorship is…the best gratitude we can show…

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