Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2021 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.     ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

So here we go again, another Sunday of virtual gathering. But the important thing is that we gather, not the how or where we do it. The Lord just wants us to gather however we can and celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us this past week, and renew our confidence that He will keep on looking after us in the upcoming week. So, if the earthly powers that be say we can’t gather in large groups under one roof or mango tree, then, being the ingenious people we are, we will gather virtually. (smile) We can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, but we can do most of the other things necessary for worship. 

As always then, let’s begin with a song of praise, something to lively up both heaven and earth, this cloudy spring morning. (smile) Today’s hymn was written by British Baptist minister, Edward Mote (1797-1874) and it’s one of our favourites. Oh brother, do we have many favourites! And why not eh, since they are all celebrating the goodness and glory of our great God? 

Anyway, enough suspense, our hymn is titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less.’ And is that ever the awesome truth friends! Our hope is indeed built on Christ Jesus and NO ONE, or nothing else. So let’s sing it like we truly mean it nuh, in harmony, loud and clear, at a nice up-tempo speed. 

Altogether now: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

(Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

What a magnificent rendition my people! All heaven was singing along with us, including the Father. He’s usually the first to join in whenever anyone is singing praises to His awesome Son, for He’s a very proud Father! What makes me chuckle though, is how Jesus sits there on His throne, quietly tapping His feet and nodding His head to the music, with that shy, boyish smile on His handsome face, somewhat embarrassed by all the praise. 

But that’s why we LOVE and adore Him so much. Despite all the honour and glory the Father has bestowed on Him, all the accolades He’s received down through the ages, He’s still the same down to earth, unassuming person He’s always been. That doesn’t mean to say He’s a pushover, as the wicked will find out when He comes back the second time, but He’s like the real great men of earth who know their power and don’t need to flaunt it. 

And what was Brother Mote trying to tell or instill in us when he wrote those wonderful words so long ago eh? I think it’s basically that Jesus is the everlasting hope, the assurance, the refuge, the best place to find solace and comfort in this crazy, sinful world. And that’s the indisputable truth friends! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can sincerely offer us the comfort that we so desperately need in these rather trying and difficult times. Remember His Great Invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) Well He can truly do that! 

Furthermore, His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, paid the price for our sins, and thus puts us in His eternal debt. Oh friends, the blood of Jesus is ever so powerful, it enacted the New Covenant and made blood sacrifices obsolete. His death stopped us from being slaves to sin and Satan, and His resurrection caused us to have new life in the family of God. Yes friends, Jesus is the best foundation on which to build one’s life. Brother Mote said it nicely in our song: ‘Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r.’ What better foundation to build on eh my brethren? NONE! 

Jesus said it this way, when He spoke about the two foundations on which we can build our lives. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:24-27) 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word Therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counselor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings.” 

Now, we all know that the most important aspect of building anything is the foundation. If the foundation is strong, whatever edifice we erect will stand the test of time and nature. But if the foundation is not up to scratch, then the edifice will eventually tumble down when it comes up against powerful forces. Likewise, in life, there is no doubt that Christ is the best foundation for us to build our lives on, for He is strong and steady, steadfast and solid, impenetrable and immovable, like a rock; the rock of all ages! Much LOVE!

…what’s your foundation built on…the rock…or the shifting sand…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2015 Luke 6:47

Luke 6:47.   Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

Well Friends, a good Saturday morning to all of you fine believers! It looks like it’s going to be another fine day in my area, and there’s a sense of pent up anticipation all ready to burst forth with the approach of the good weather. And how can you blame us after being cloistered up in clammy houses all winter long eh? All the pent up frustrations and anxieties are now being obviously let loose like a horse that’s been held on a tight rein for a long time.

That leads me to a comparison of good weather to faith. In particular this quote by Robert Venniga from my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness, which I shared with you some time aback. It says: ‘Faith has a powerful effect in helping people recover a sense of balance, tranquility and hope.’

And isn’t that the absolute truth Friends! Just like good weather has a positive and uplifting and liberating effect on our spirits, so does faith bring peace, steadfastness and hope to our fractured souls.

You know we tend to lose faith in rough economic times, when we’re sick, or troubled about some problem we just can’t seem to solve. But the good news Friends, is that after a while, when the dust settles, we usually tend to bounce back with a renewed strength in our spiritual beliefs.  

As the Daily Meditations say: ‘My belief in my Higher Power may have diminished for a while, but I take comfort in knowing that belief is always there.’  More glorious truth my people!

Once we believe, once we have that strong foundation in Jesus Christ, it’s very difficult to lose it. It might dim for a while, but it will never go out, because it has a regenerating quality built into it. And Jesus explains the quality we’re talking about, after prefacing it with our Bit. ‘Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.’

Ah mih people, what a great day in our life, possibly the greatest, when we come to faith in Jesus, and truly acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour.  I don’t think there is any other feeling that compares to it, because it just stirs up, rearranges, changes everything for the better in our lives.

Now hear Jesus describe the person that believes in Him. ‘He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock.’ (Luke 6:48)

Oh my people, my people, yuh see what faith in Jesus does for us. Though the forces of evil and darkness come against us, and though they threaten to kill our faith, they cannot, because our faith in Jesus is an unquenchable fire! Once it’s lit, it cannot go out. And that’s what happens when we build the foundation of our lives on the solid rock that’s Jesus!

Bruh David joyfully declared: ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ (Ps.18:2) Now Friends, that is exactly what Jesus is to those who sincerely follow Him. And when you join those glorious ranks, you show your wisdom and common sense.

Unlike the other character Jesus talks about ‘But he that heareth , and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.’ (Luke 6:49)

Ah mih breddren, it’s so sad that so many people in today’s evil and ungodly world choose to build their lives on a foundation of mere earth and not on the impregnable rock that’s Jesus! That’s as the Good Book says, a fool’s wisdom! How can we build any substantial structure without a strong foundation eh? It must fall sooner or later when the forces of nature come against it in torrential mode.

And that’s all the material things of the world have to offer; a foundationless life. And yuh know mih people, it’s not like Jesus doesn’t provide the material things of the world that we need, because He clearly says in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)

So why do we refuse to listen to Him eh? And it’s not like there aren’t many wealthy Christians in the world. So I don’t know why we find it so difficult to put our trust and faith in the One who died on the Cross at Calvary to redeem our sinful souls. Steups! Ah Lord eh!

And we’ll end with some spirited words on the subject from James. ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) It’s all plain and straightforward my brethren, no rocket science involved. Just hear the word and faithfully do it.

And the scholars have this to say about that last verse. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4). It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1, 13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’

And it would do us all good to check out those references, since they will increase our understanding of the scriptures. I just did, and they do verify the scholars’ contentions. Well Friends, until tomorrow, God willing, please walk in peace and LOVE with Almighty God. Much LOVE!

…to be a true follower of Jesus…one must first hear His Word…then put it into action…for  above all else…Jesus is indeed a man of action…