Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2022 Psalm 34:19.

Psalm 34:19.       Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.    

Well friends, after today our sanctuary will be closed again for another few weeks. As a result of the unnerving spike of the Omicron virus, the government has further clamped down on lots of stuff. And though our worship service would not have been much affected, the leadership of our denomination decided to play it safe and shut all their sanctuaries until things lighten up.

So from next week, we will be back to only technological means of worship. And to set us off on the right foot for this last Sunday of physical worship, is a most appropriate song titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Now that anchor is Jesus my people. And it does hold, if you believe it will.

The song was born in 1992 from the frustration and rough times of a burned our pastor Lawrence Chewning, a time when his wife also had her third miscarriage. It led him to take a six month sabbatical, most of which he spent playing the piano and talking to God, and during those moments of reflection and prayer, he created the song. Eventually, Chewning mentioned the story of the song God had given him to singer Ray Boltz, who remodelled it and released it in 1995.

And with that inspiring story under our belt, let’s sing a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version of  ‘The Anchor Holds,’ letting all heaven and earth know that we are indeed sincere in our sacrifices of praise this day of the Lord. ‘I have journeyed, Through the long, dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone, Sight unknown And yet His eyes, were watching me. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams, I’ve even held them in my hand, But I never knew, They would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Oh, I have been young, but I am older now, thank the Lord, And there has been beauty, that these eyes have seen, But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved, His LOVE for me.

The anchor holds, though my ship is battered. The anchor holds, though my sails are torn. And I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.  I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Thank You Jesus! I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.’

Oh my people, it’s easy to sing the very moving and inspirational words of the song, but it’s much more difficult to put those words into action in our lives. However, with each storm we face, with Jesus as our anchor and helmsman, our faith in Him grows, and it becomes a tad easier to do each time. And though it’s not the most desirable aspect of our Christian faith, it’s only through personal experience that we are able to grow and come up higher.

And I know that we have all faced experiences that seemed like they would hit us for six, but when all hope seemed lost  and we got down on our knees during the raging storm and held on for dear life to that solid anchor called Jesus, we were able to successfully battle the stormy seas in a battered ship with torn sails. Oh my faithful brethren, only the anchor named Jesus can cause us to accomplish such eventful deeds under such trying circumstances! That’s why it’s ever so important, so necessary to have Him as a major part of our lives.

And why is that you ask, (smile) despite all that we’ve just spoken of? I believe Bruh David puts it best in Psalm 34, where he confidently declares: ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto (near to) them  that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, held guilty). The Lord redeemth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). (Ps. 34:17-22)

Now, I personally can’t find any arguments with those sentiments, but just in case you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, reputedly the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) Yes friends, as the scholars’ so rightly tell us: ‘The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ And yes, it might not happen right away, and we ought not fret about the ways of the evil doers, just continue doing what we know is right.

Now, if you still don’t believe in God’s power to hold you up in times of storm, then listen to the prophet Micah, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. He warns: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8)

And we are going to end with one powerful example of how the Lord looks after His people and catches the wicked in their own snare. Remember back in Babylon when the king’s right hand man, Haman, plotted to eradicate the Jews and built a gallows fifty cubits high to hang his hated enemy, the righteous Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle? You can read the whole story in the Book of Esther. But just listen to what eventually happened to the wicked Haman. The Good Book says: ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subsided).’ (Esth. 7:10)

Yes my fellow saints, Haman was what you call hoisted on his own petard, that’s injured, or done in by the same thing he created to injure or do in someone else. So please, please, let that be a serious warning for us. The wicked will get their comeuppance in the Lord’s time. It’s His solemn promise, and we all know that He keeps every promise He makes. Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Jesus…the Son…                                                                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2015 Revelation 1:3‏‏

Revelation 1:3.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle see His banners go! Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before.’ 

Oh Yes Friends, we are indeed soldiers of Christ, marching in to war with the enemy in this ungodly civilization in which we now live. And our banner is the mighty cross of Christ! Let us never forget that, for the cross is the difference between life and death for believers. 

It is where Jesus sacrificed Himself to pay for our sins, and it is to it that we owe all that we are as Christians. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross brought God’s gift of salvation and eternal life to sinful man. 

Therefore let us rise up and faithfully fight the battles in which we are engaged on Christ’s behalf. We cannot just sit idly by and allow life to roll over us, we have to take it by the horns and make it bow to us. 

For as one Peter Marshall supposedly said: ‘Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make things happen.’ 

Now that is quite true my people, but we have to take that with some advisement; namely making sure that what we are doing is God’s will, and also His timing. For if we get out of His will and timing, we will just make an unholy mess of things. 

And the best way to ensure that we are in God’s will and timing is by following the wise advice of our Bit. ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ 

Yes my people, God gave us His Holy Word, the Bible as a guidebook for our earthly living, so that we can always be in sync with Him. But to know when we are in or out of sync with the Lord, we have to read and meditate on His Word, and then follow its dictates. Otherwise we’ll just be like lost sheep without a shepherd, liable to go seriously astray in this evil and contentious world. 

I’m sure that when you go on vacation, or anywhere new, and you’re given material describing your surroundings and what happens there, you look at it carefully so you can understand the ramifications of your actions. 

Well the Bible falls into the same category; it explains what will and will not happen in your life, according to the decisions you make. Glory to God for showing us the way! 

Now let’s check out some scripture that corroborates the contentions of our Bit, beginning with the words of Jesus. One day, while Jesus was teaching, the Good Book says: ‘Then came to him his mother and his brethren (brothers), and could not come at him for the press (the crowd). 

And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without (outside), desiring to see thee. And he answered and said, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.’ (Luke 8:19-21)  

Oh friends, I know that sounds somewhat harsh, especially from Jesus, but He is just trying to show that though family ties are important, covenant ties with God are much more important. As the scholars say: ‘Mutual obedience to God comprises a tie that binds more closely than mere bloodlines.’ 

Now here is Mark’s version of the same situation. ‘And he answered them saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren (brothers)? And he looked round about on them which sat about him (in a circle), and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’ (Mark:3:33-35) 

So Friends, we can clearly see that doing the will of God is our most important goal and action on this earth, because our Lord and Saviour said so! 

Now listen to these words from Psalm 112, which support all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth (stands) forever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.’ (Ps.112:1-4) 

Oh my people, yuh see what happens when we read, meditate on and obey God’s Word! Our lives are blessed! Glory Hallelujah! 

That brings us to the words of Bruh David in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – where he boldly proclaims: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more.’ ( Ps.37:23-27) 

And what better note to end on my brethren! So as we go about our business today, let us take Bruh David’s wise advice nuh; let us depart from evil, and do good, so that we can live forever. Much LOVE!

…like children obey their earthly fathers…so too should God’s children…obey their heavenly Father…