Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ 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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’  (Heb. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Ah Friends, it’s Friday, and it’s supposed to be another glorious day in my neck of the woods, so you can imagine the craziness that’s going to take place this weekend if the weather stays fairly warm. All the barbecues and everything that smacks of summer will be out in full swing.

You can already hear the working populace crying out with joy. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes, and the weekend’s up to bat! The ribs will be a braising and the beer a flowing! The talk will be plentiful and the laughter hearty and loud! Thank God at last for a warm weekend yes!’

Ah mih breddren, those of you down south, who have warm weather and plentiful sunshine all year round, wouldn’t understand what a nice, warm weekend means to us northerners nuh. But most aspects of our lives are built around the weather. In winter we do certain things because it’s too cold outside. Then in spring and summer we do other things because it’s warm out side.

Anyway, I believe that this is the first truly warm weekend of the year, so for sure, a lot of outside activities will be on the agenda. But just to help us not get too carried away and keep the right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant. And I surely don’t have to tell us with much enthusiasm and energy, because those will come naturally at this time of year. (smile)

So let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Yes my people, a dash of moderation and circumspection are definitely needed as we get into this weekend. Otherwise we’re going to allow the enemy to get a foothold in our souls, for he is out there ravenous and deceitful as ever, looking for any way to cause us to fall.

And that is exactly what was happening in Jesus’ time, when our Bit was written. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Yeh Friends, Jesus is still moved with compassion today because so many sheep are still going astray, being lost in this sinful world without any proper guidance. He wants to be, longs to be their guide and shepherd, that’s His bounden duty and purpose.

That’s why He declared during His earthly sojourn: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did later on Friends; He sacrificed His holy and sinless life for the lost and directionless sons of man. How wonderful!

Then Jesus went on to further explain: ‘But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling (hired hand) fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ (John 10:12-13)

And that’s a proven fact my brethren, as the scholars remind us. ’10:12. A hireling  (a servant for pay) will flee in time of personal danger, because he is working for money, and neither owns nor LOVES the sheep.’

But thankfully, Jesus is ever so different! And He proudly proclaims it: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14)

Oh Friends, the billion dollar questions here are (1) does Jesus know you as a sheep of His flock, and (2) do you know Him as your good shepherd? I certainly do hope so, for our very lives, both earthly and eternal depend very much on those distinctions.

And Jesus continues with His monologue on the shepherd and the sheep. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:15-18) 

Oh Friends what a beautiful passage of scripture. It says so much in those few words. Jesus is about to lay down His life for the sheep of His flock, and He is so obedient to the Father’s will, that the Father has no choice but to LOVE Him. Plus He’s going to bring another flock, the Gentiles into the equation, and make it all ONE big flock, with ONE shepherd. How glorious a promise!

And as the scholars say: ‘10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection, He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it again, once more asserting His deity.’

And sadly my people, that has been a major stumbling block for mankind, right from Jesus’ first days on earth, up to the present time. Men have doubted His deity from day one, and continue to do so, sadly to their own detriment. But the smart few, like us, who have embraced Him in all the splendour and power of His deity are laughing all the way to the bank; figuratively of course. (smile)

On second thought, heaven might have been a better comparison. (smile) Anyway Friends, let’s not be proud and pompous at being a chosen member of Jesus’ flock, for that has never been His intention.

Let’s do like Him, have compassion for those who are still lost, and try our very best to encourage them to come to Him, to become members of His flock too, for that’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh what a joy, pleasure and privilege it is…to be a member Jesus’ one, worldwide flock…nothing else can compare to it…