Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2018 Lamentations 3:24.

Lamentations 3:24.   The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.

Oh yes mih people, it’s a hot and humid Monday…but that’s no excuse to have the Monday summertime blues! Definitely not! Just think ahead for a moment; just think how we’ll be dying for, just begging the Lord for this same kind of weather in the next few months nuh, when the cold descends upon us with a determined vengeance. (smile) 

So please, let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s enjoy the time, enjoy each and every minute we’ve been granted down here on earth in this crazy summertime of 2018. Instead, let’s emphatically and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Wow mih breddren! That’s the kind of attitude and approach our gracious and merciful God wants to hear us adopt. But just in case you can’t chase away those Monday summertime blues all on your own, then let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the true antidote for just such an ailment. 

As loud and as enthusiastically as we can now: ‘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 do words of sincere prayer ever raise the adrenaline levels in our souls my people! There is nothing else like, or as effective as it, in this whole wide world. No wonder Cousin Jerry, despite all his ‘sufferation’ could confidently declare in our Bit: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.’  

And the psalmist Asaph concurs with Jerry, as he confidently proclaims: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:25-26) 

Oh my fellow believers, are we able to declare those kinds of statements as emphatically as Asaph? I certainly hope so. But if we can’t just yet, then it’s something we should be working very diligently towards. As I read those words it reminded me of Horatio Spafford, the fellow who wrote our yesterday hymn, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

He had to have had that kind of and level of faith to be able to pen those immortal and poignant words after experiencing so much tragedy in his life. And the writer of Psalm 119 puts it this way. ‘Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.’ (Ps.119:57-58) 

Of course our great, wonderful and magnanimous God will be merciful to us if we sincerely offer our whole heart to Him, for that’s what He’s all about: magnanimity and mercy! But we have to give Him our all, not just a part that we figure we can’t handle. 

And Cousin Jerry puts it thus earlier on. ‘The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former (maker) of all things; and Israel is the rod (tribe) of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.’ (Jer.10:16) 

Glory be my fellow believers! And through the auspices and sacrifices of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have been made a member of God’s tribe, we also are a part of His inheritance! What a blessed inheritance! Please, let’s make the most of it nuh, don’t throw it away and waste Jesus’ awesome sacrifice on our behalf. 

And we’ll close with these immortal and oh so encouraging words of the psalmist Asaph. ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:28) That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions my brethren! Please, I implore us to seriously embrace it. Much LOVE!

…wisdom and logic both dictate…that drawing close to our Maker…is our raison d’etre…the reason for our very existence…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2018 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.   Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Well my Christian brethren, it is the Lord’s Day! That means at some time today we should be bound for church, to celebrate, give praise and thanks, rejoice, exalt and receive strength and confidence in fellowship with other believers! Wow! 

What an awesome life we believers in Christ have! Mama Mia! We should be the happiest, most joyful people on the planet, for no other body of people has the magnificent and magnanimous promises and awesome situations that we have. Give our wonderful God some praise and glory for all that He’s done, is doing, and will do on our behalf! 

And today, to open the proceedings, we’ll sing a hymn that shows just how powerful, compassionate and LOVING our great God is, that in spite of calamities and distress, we can still stand strong under His umbrella of faith and LOVE! The song is one we all know and LOVE and is titled, ‘It is Well with My Soul.’ 

The song was penned by one Horatio Spafford after some traumatic events in his life, with music composed by Phillip Bliss. ‘The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the Great Chicago fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). 

His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. 

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. 

Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.’ 

Oh friends, it’s only with Christ in our hearts and our lives that we can suffer such disaster and still offer up emotions and words as these. So let’s open up our mouths and offer up sacrifices of praise as we soulfully sing these heart-stopping words. These are the original lyrics, some people leave out certain verses, but we won’t because they are too beautiful and poignant to leave out. 

So in full voice now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say (know) It is well, it is well, with my soul. (Refrain: It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

(Refrain…) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain…) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain…) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain…) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul (A song in the night, oh my soul!) (Refrain… repeat).’ 

Ah friends, do we have Christ as strongly in us as that poor man Spafford seemed to do? I certainly hope so, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the calamities in our lives without completely falling apart. I guess Spafford must have had a strong belief and trust in God like Bruh David did when he wrote the opening words of Psalm 62, because that’s the only way he could have suffered such awful tragedy and claimed that it was well with his soul. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I will not be greatly moved (shaken) (Ps.62:1-2) 

Oh how I wish that more of us could claim such faith and trust in Almighty God when calamity comes against us. Oh, it’s not easy, but when you can do that, it means that your faith has reached a really mature state, and it’s something we should all aim for. And we’ll end with some more encouraging words from Bruh David. 

‘My soul, wait thou (wait silently) only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

Please my fellow believers, let’s take those words to heart this Sunday morning and put them into practice nuh, so that with God’s awesome help, we can withstand the tragedies that come against us. Much LOVE!

…in your patience…posses ye your souls… (Luke 21:10)