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…