Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2017 John 14:16.

John 14:16.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

Arise my brethren, it is the Lord’s Day, and we must be trekking to His sanctuary to engage in blissful fellowship with other believers. What a time it will be, with joyful songs of praise and worship, the reading of God’s word, which enlivens our spirit, and words of encouragement and prayer for and with each other. 

But notwithstanding all of that, these are indeed disastrous times in our world, and we need extra comfort from our faith, thus we’ll open this morning with the old hymn ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’ that fits the bill. The song was written in 1932 by Thomas A Dorsey, a black man from Chicago after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. 

So please friends, and fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we seek comfort from our comforting God. In rich and soulful harmony now, as we feel it down in our very beings. ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand, I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone; Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)’ 

Oh my brethren, there is NONE other than Almighty God who can satisfy that need for reassurance and comfort in our hurting souls! That’s why we need to call out to Him first when terrible times overcome us, for He is our indispensable Healer and Comforter. Listen as Jesus offers assurance to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! He knew that He had to go away and that the disciples would be left in the lurch without Him around.  So He made arrangements with the Father to send them another Comforter, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that would dwell within them forever. And he continues: ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:17) 

And the scholars tell us: ’14:17. The Spirit…shall be in you: The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique, since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent (dwelleth, that is “takes up residence”). See verse 23.’  

And we all know that the Holy Spirit made that magnificent appearance to all believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem until the new Comforter came, because they would not have had the parts to go out and do what He required of them. The Good Book describes that momentous event thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose, mind) in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Ah mih friends, our God doesn’t too things in half measures! When He decides to put on a show, He puts on a big one, with all the bells and whistles, not a little Mickey-Mouse event! (smile) But Jesus’ most touching words to me, were the ones He spoke after promising to send the Holy Spirit. ‘I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:18) 

What care and compassion Jesus shows for those distraught men who had given up everything they had to follow Him, thinking that He would be setting up a new kingdom at that time, only to later learn that He would be killed and then He would go away and leave them…but not alone. That’s not Jesus’ style friends. Once you come to Him, He will ALWAYS be with you: ‘for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb:13:5) 

Oh my people, in ending, all I can says is that the best place to find comfort and compassion in times of sorrow, is in the ever-open and ever-LOVING arms of Jesus. He has already offered the great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)  

Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that. But please remember, YOU have to make a serious decision to go to Him to find succour. It won’t just fall in your lap. Much LOVE!

…on a comfort scale of 1-10…Jesus is 11 plus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2017 Psalm 118:14.

Psalm 118:14.    The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today eh? Ah friends, many of us who are getting up early this morning are indeed wondering what the day holds for us, and even what we hold for the day. (smile) 

But the blessed ones are those who choose to sleep in late, not worrying about what the world has planned for them, but knowing that their plan for the world is to sleep in…and enjoy it too. They are not only blessed, but wise too, not overly concerned about the mess, the tragic circumstances existing all over our world. They will probably live longer and have a more enjoyable life than those of us who allow ourselves to be frustrated by the evil and ungodly activities that are currently tearing our world apart.  

We have to remember friends that our wise and wonderful God is still on His throne and is still in control of all circumstances, and nothing will happen unless He allows it to happen. He has His long range plans that we won’t ever understand. So let’s just relax nuh, take one day at a time, do our best to work God’s plan for our individual lives, and give Him all the thanks and praise we can. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now let’s check out a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! For it’s only when we face adversity that we truly see what kind of person we are. Are we strong, do we have belly and backbone, can we handle the stuff that’s coming at us without breaking down? 

And nowhere is it more noticeable and applicable than in our Christian faith! Why you ask? Because every day in our walk of faith stuff comes against us that tests us, and we can only grow and pass the tests by handling them in a strong and faithful manner. 

Hence, we come to this next quote: ‘Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’ More indisputable truth friends! A true leader is one who can inspire another to improve himself. 

That leads to this quote: ‘Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.’ No lie! The leader sets the agenda, while the manager carries it out. So ‘In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.’ 

We certainly can’t my people, we need to be moving onwards and upwards, becoming more Christ-like every day! That’s the basic plan for all of God’s children, but since we’re all different, He uses different ways to get us there. But my faithful followers, whatever methods and pathways our God uses to make us become like His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must all come to the conclusion declared in our Bit. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.’  

Yes friends, until we can sincerely believe and proclaim that foundational verse with heartfelt passion, like the psalmist did so long ago, our progress will be painfully slow. That’s because we can’t become like Christ if we don’t truly believe in God and surrender our very being to Him. We can only get strong in God when we let it all go and allow Him to guide our lives. All the great men of God had to do that, otherwise they would not have become great men of God. 

Listen to how Moses puts it in his song. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, 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) 

Yeh mih people, we have to give up our will and let the Lord lead us in His. Yuh think Moses would have done all the wonders he did in God’s name if he had tried to hold on to his own will. No, never! But a lot of us nowadays try to sit on the fence, allowing God to do some things in our lives, but stubbornly withholding other stuff that we want to handle. It won’t work friends, for our God wants ALL of us, or nothing at all. He’s not a God of half measures. 

Now hear this other great man of God, Isaiah, as he talks about thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (mighty deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6) 

Ah mih people, when we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and get seriously walking with Him, we will feel those things deep down in our hearts and souls, and impulsively break out in song with the same praise and exaltation. It’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…