Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2019 Exodus 20:8.

Exodus 20:8.    ​Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
Hello there my people, it’s Sunday, the day we set aside for fellowship, praise and thanksgiving in the Lord’s sanctuary. And today is a special Sunday, one we call Palm Sunday, where we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, like a king, with the people throwing their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on and joyfully shouting: ‘Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ (Matt.21:9) 

Yes friends on a beautiful Sunday like today, two thousand years ago, they welcomed Jesus as a king and conquering hero, but one week later they were howling like crazy for His blood to be shed on a wooden cross! Hn! That’s the fickleness of ungrateful and unfaithful man! Anyway, we’re not going to get into the Palm Sunday routine today because everyone else is doing it, and here on the Bit we try to be a li’l different from the rest. (smile) 

And as we are wont to do every Sunday, let’s open the proceedings with a song of praise and worship. Today’s ditty is called ‘In the midst of the rain,’ taken from the Bebe Winans album titled ‘In Harm’s Way.’ It’s a beautiful Christian, soulful ballad, so let’s raise our voices in song and do it justice nuh: 

‘Every time I lift my eyes to the sky, I’m reminded of a time in my life, When all the dark clouds hung over me, I was lost inside, in search of a key. I remember LOVED ones being so kind, Saying things would get much better with time. And I admit sometimes they did for a while, And then I’d find myself back under the cloud. 

(Chorus: Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.) 

When it comes right down to just you and me, There’s nothing better now that these eyes can see. And tell me what compares to all that you are? You are everything, yes my morning star! My mind, my heart and soul I now give to you. I’m under your command so what can I do? Cause I surrender all, all that I owe, And will follow wherever you go. (Chorus) 

There will never be another, Cause You’re nothing like the others. This LOVE I find in you, I found to be true! Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. But Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.’ 

Oh friends isn’t that beautiful! The words are marvellous, filled with awesome truth and our sweet, powerful and harmonious voices raised to heaven did it immense justice! All heaven had a tear escaping because of our heartfelt rendition! And how could it not be heartfelt eh, with touching situations like Jesus rescuing our souls right in the midst of a terrible downpour, when we feel so lost and alone? And having done that, then His amazing LOVE simply takes control of our lives and leads us down the right path, the straight and narrow one. 

All power and praise and glory be to out wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the name that’s above every other name, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! Yes friends, He certainly deserves all the pomp and glory with which we honour Him! 

However, I want to turn our attention to another important subject, one that we don’t seem to keep and revere as we ought to. I’m talking about the observance of the Sabbath. Now that’s always been important to our God, and it still is, but with man’s growing arrogance and prideful ways, the sabbath is constantly being diminished in our lives.

 Hear God’s commandment to the Israelites from the early days, even putting it in the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Yuh see friends, God gave us seven days in a week, but we ought to work only six and rest at least one every week, the way He did when He created the universe. I believe the Israelites took it to the extreme, taking every little thing as work, and ranting on Jesus when He healed a woman on the Sabbath. So Jesus had to smarten them up. 

‘The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass (donkey) from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed (put to shame): and all the people (multitude) rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.’ (Luke 13:15-17) 

Yes friends our God is not that strait-laced to expect us to do absolutely nothing on a sabbath! We just should not engage in too much stuff that not’s restful and pertaining to Him. And the scholars offer this explanation of the above verses: ‘13:15-17. Jesus makes His point well. But there remains in every generation the temptation for traditions and programs to take priority over people.’ 

So true that my people! No wonder Jesus had to inform the rulers of His time that ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27) And as the scholars tell us: ‘2:27-28. Jesus’ reasoning is that divine institutions on earth are to have a God-honouring, noble, and liberating function. Sabbath laws had for some degenerated into a mockery of God’s intent.’ 

And so it also has in our time. But please note that if we honour the Sabbath. ‘Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:14) That’s God’s promise friends! Much LOVE!

…honour the sabbath…and the Lord will honour you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2016 Psalm 34:1

Psalm 34:1.    I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Aye mih breddren, loverly days are here again… as if they ever went anywhere eh. (smile) 

That’s because every day is a loverly day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is in our life. Especially on a Sunday, when we get to fellowship together in great numbers, to praise and worship Him in sincerity and truth, to hear His word and be revitalized and reinvigorated in soul, body, mind and spirit, so we can face the new work week with great expectations, strengthened faith, and reassurance that we will be victorious walking with Him. 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Blessed is the name of Jesus, who sacrificed His sinless life for us! Praise His holy name!’ 

Now let’s continue in praise mode by singing this beautiful hymn written in His honour by Fanny Crosby.  In one, strong and harmonious voice now: ‘Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth, His wonderful LOVE proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory, strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children; in His arms He carries them all day long: 

{Refrain :} (Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!) 

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins, He suffered and bled and died; He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, LOVE unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong: [Refrain] 

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! crown Him! prophet and priest and King! Christ is coming, over the world victorious, power and glory unto the Lord belong: 

[Refrain] Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!’ 

Yes friends, what a joyous hymn of praise to Christ Jesus! That ought to have lifted our spirits considerably and opened up our hearts, made us totally receptive to the reading of His word. But before we get into that, let me share something I heard on the radio yesterday. It was an old song by the Chi-lites titled ‘There will be no peace until God sits at the conference table.’ 

Oh precious people, I never knew the song in its heyday, but when I heard it yesterday I was consumed by both joy and sadness. Joy, because someone long ago realized the seriousness of the situation and turned it into a song. And sadness, because it is just the God awesome truth! 

We WILL NEVER have peace on this fallen earth until we bring Almighty God, our Creator and Provider back into the equation, for He is the ONLY ONE powerful enough to bring all the dissenting, strife-filled, greedy, selfish, foolish, war-mongering, power-hungry leaders and nations to a sensible and peaceful agreement! And until that time comes, there’ll be no peace…just constant war. 

Anyhow, enough of the negative vibes. It’s Sunday and we’re supposed to be praising and thanking and worshipping and glorifying our heavenly Father, so let’s get back to a more positive  and joyous state nuh. (smile) Let’s introduce our Bit; wise, powerful and faithful words of Bruh David. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s wisdom to the nth power! For who else is there for us to look up to, to praise and worship eh? NOBODY but Jehovah God! 

And what we have to realize here is that Bruh David has just escaped death at the hands of his nemesis King Saul, and is running from Saul for his very life without food or weapons. He arrives at Nob, to the priest Ahimelech, who is suspicious of Bruh David’s sorry state and enquires of it. 

Bruh David spins him a nansi story about being on secret business for the king and didn’t have time to get bread nor weapons. Whether Ahimelech believed him, we’ll never know, but he’s obviously scared that Saul finds out about his liaison with Bruh David, and  finally gives him the showbread (hallowed bread) because that was all he had, as well as Goliath’s sword. 

I like Bruh David’s remark when Ahimelech told him that Goliath’s sword was in the temple. ‘And David said, There is none like that; give it me.’ (1 Sam.21:9) Yeh friends, that sword must have brought back long ago memories to Bruh David, as he took it and hightailed it away from the hounds of Saul, baying hungrily at his back. (smile) 

Ah mih people, Bruh David didn’t have an easy life, but he NEVER gave up on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because over the years, despite his trials and tribulations, the Lord had proven faithful to him. 

The scholars tell us thus about Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed (vv.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vv.11-22).’ 

Yes my brethren, it was only because of the Lord’s faithfulness to him over the years that Bruh David could declare the words of our Bit, and the ones following. ‘My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:2-3) 

Oh friends, those are also my sentiments this Sunday morning. So please, magnify the Lord with me, and let’s exalt His holy and righteous name together, for that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…despite the troubles that come with life…believers ought never to lose faith in Jehovah God…