Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 September 2022 Proverbs 18:10.

Proverbs 18:10.       The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (or set on high).

And another glorious Sunday is upon us my fellow believers! That means it’s time once more for praise and worship as one group of faithful saints, be we physically gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary or by technological means, for there is no distance in prayer and worship. So let’s begin, as we always do, with a song of thanks and praise. 

And today’s song is another most aptly titled group of exceedingly praiseful words, ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.’ Wow! And does the name of Jesus ever sound sweet to believers? It certainly does! For there’s no sweeter nor more important name than His in all the wide world! And what is particularly amazing about this song is that it was written by none other than John Newton, the same man who wrote one of our most favourite hymns, ‘Amazing Grace.’ 

Can you imagine that a former slave trader and unbeliever, although he grew up in a Christian home, could write two of Christendom’s most LOVED hymns? Yes, because with God ALL things are possible, and He usually looks for those at the bottom of the heap to raise up so that His great name can be glorified. He takes pleasure in using the weak to confound the strong, and the foolish to confound the wise. Thus, with the Lord’s miraculous intervention, John Newton turned from the slave trade and became a sincere abolitionist and eventually a minster. 

Only But God, you say! Yes, only but for God! Anyway, nuff talking, let’s sing, let’s offer up our weekly sacrifices of praise in a sweet, harmonious, mid-tempo version of the song, obviously in sincere, heart-felt voices. (smile) Singing: ‘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…And triumph in that blessed name, which quells the power of death…And triumph in the that blessed name, which quells the power of death…’ 

Oh friends, as always, that was marvellous! There was absolutely no doubt in heaven about our sincerity and awesome LOVE for Jesus! And these simple, but oh so precious words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs 18:10 prove why our LOVE for Jesus is so strong. He declares (yesss!!!): ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (or set on high).’ 

Yes my brethren, it is an indisputable fact that the righteous find protection in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Just look at how Newton describes all the things that the name of Jesus does for a believer when He hears it spoken nuh. ‘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.’ 

Wow! Is there any other name in the universe that can produce such an avalanche of good and safe feelings? Obviously not! Remember what Jesus said in His 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) 

Now can anyone else seriously and sincerely make that marvellous offer! Of course not! That’s why Jesus’ name sounds so sweet in our ears!  And listen up again, as He tells it like it is: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) So why shouldn’t we LOVE to hear the name of Jesus eh, when He’s the BE ALL and END ALL of everything? 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi, explains why Jesus is so revered. He writes: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. 

And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every other name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:5-11) 

That says it all friends. Jesus became man for our sakes and was humble and obedient to the wishes of the Father, even to His death on the cross. No wonder the Father glorified Him with the name above every other name and insists that every knee should bow to him and call him Lord! And by the way, John tells us of the mighty name given to Jesus in the Book of Revelation, when He finally comes out to wage war against His enemies, riding on His white charger. John says: ‘And he hath on his vesture (robe) and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ (Rev. 19:16) 

And if you want to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, you’d better believe that and be humble and obedient to His dictates, as best you can. (smile) Ah mih people, as I keep reminding us, there are only two options, two ways to live this earthly life; the way Satan desires, or the way Jesus desires. And believe me the smart money is on Jesus, because he has already defeated Satan by dying, going to hell and back, and thus taking away Satan’s keys, his hold over death, hell and the grave. 

That means the devil is now a toothless lion, and has no power over us, except what we give him. And in the long run, Satan and all his evil minions will be cast into the lake of fire and destroyed. Is that the way you want to end your life? I certainly hope not! Then the only logical conclusion is for you to follow Jesus and spend everlasting life with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit in eternal bliss in heaven. Much LOVE!

…only heaven will be left standing…after Jesus wages the last war… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 August 2022   Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

My fellow believers, let’s come together right now, to praise, worship and give thanks to our great and wonderful God, for that’s the major reason He created us! Consequently, Bruh David could joyfully declare (chuh!!!) in the opening verse of Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ That’s where we’re supposed to be sometime this last Sunday in August of 2022. 

And besides being made to praise and worship God, the psalmist also declares: (yesss!!!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) That’s even more reason to praise and worship Him. 

And as always, we have a marvellous song of worship to open the proceedings. Today’s hymn is one of our very ‘favouritest’ (smile) aptly titled ‘Amazing Grace.’ It was supposedly written ‘to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773.’ by the sailor, slave trader, turned Anglican priest and abolitionist John Newton (1725-1807). The story goes that Newton, who was brought up in a Christian home rejected his mother’s teachings and became a real profane and wicked individual. 

However, during one of his voyages, a wicked storm (smile) enveloped his ship and threatened to drown them, but during the storm, his mind turned to Christ, and later, finding a New Testament he began reading it. And apparently Luke 11:13 changed his mind about being too wicked to be saved. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ 

Now that’s a terribly important question. And the answer is the Lord will give us ever so much more than we can give our children! Obviously, Newton must have asked for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Lord granted it to him. And isn’t that just the way our Lord LOVES to work; take us up, rescue us when we are at our lowest point. It’s a perfect example that we can never fall too low for the Lord’s grace and mercy to reach us and pull us out of the evil mire in which we’re ensconced. 

Anyway, enough talk for now. If you didn’t know the general background of the hymn, now you know it, so let’s sing it in a soulful, harmonious, mid-tempo version. I hate hearing people sing it like a dirge, for it’s not a sad song but a happy one. A song of salvation should never be sad. So, with voices raised to the max, let’s offer up sacrificial praise, singing like we truly feeling the overpowering sentiments of the song. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih people, that was marvellous! Heaven couldn’t doubt that we were sincere! And I particularly like this comment in an article on the song from the website Godtube. It says: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology – it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced.’ 

Yes friends, it must be amazing when we can go from one end of the spectrum right to the opposite end! And although the song might not be a theological text (smile) it’s only God’s grace can cause that to happen. For as Bruh Paul wrote to the Ephesians: ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) 

And I guess Newton full well recognized that fact, having later become and Anglican priest, for in the song, he acknowledged this most important fact: ‘’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far. And grace will lead me home.’ And that’s for certain sure my fellow believers, for as James, Jesus’ brother tells us: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, everything good comes from our heavenly Father, who is immutable, doesn’t change. And as we said at the beginning, He made us, His most important creation to have fellowship with Him, to be the first step in His redemption plan for all creation. And as the song concludes: ‘When we’ve been here ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.’ 

Now isn’t that the glorious truth? It surely is! As long as there’s’ life in our bodies, physical or spiritual, we’ll always have occasion to sing the Lord’s praises, for that’s why we were made!  So, let’s remember that nuh and keep singing God’s most deserved praises each and every day of our lives as the Good Book instructs us to do. ‘O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 117:1-2) 

And that only comes when we truly believe, and thus have the joy, the truth, and the grace of God moving majestically within us! Much LOVE!

…it’s never too late…or one’s never too far gone…to receive God’s grace…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 October 2021   John 6:35. 

John 6:35.     I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

It’s that beautiful day of the Lord again friends – Sunday! And all God’s children shouted a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks, praise and honour be unto our wonderful heavenly Father, who created us in His marvellous image and blesses us with all we need to see life through, here on earth! We LOVE You and bless Your holy name on this Your day, as we gather to worship You, either physically in your sanctuary or by technological means. 

There’s no distance in prayer nor worship, so it doesn’t matter whether we are together or far away, our prayers and worship still come as one to Your waiting ears and excited, expectant heart! That’s because we know Your great LOVE for us, and Your desire for us to only be blessed and not cursed, as You told Moses way back when. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever.’ (Deut. 5:29) 

Yes Lord, we know that the cockles of Your heart are warmed when we live the way You desire of us, that’s why today we come to give you an earful of praise and worship. So please listen up Lord and accept our thanks and praise which sincerely come from the depths of our hearts. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!’ 

And our opening song of praise is one we know so well, and sincerely LOVE. It was written in the 18th century by that old rapscallion and slave trader turned slave abolitionist by God’s mighty hand. We’re talking about John Newton (1725-1807), the writer of that other masterpiece, ‘Amazing Grace.’ Today though, we’ll raise our voices in sacrificial praise to ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds,’ another of Newton’s beautiful hymns. That’s God’s mysterious working, where He takes pleasure in turning notorious sinners into amazing saints! Think of Bruh Paul. 

So, in soulful harmony, in an up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song that conveys joy, let’s sing. ‘‘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… and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death…’ 

Ah friends, that was wonderful, because it was indeed sincere, and the name of Jesus sounds ever so sweet to our ears, as He is our Everything! As the song says, He’s our ‘Shepherd, Guardian, Friend, Prophet, Priest and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End.’ The only thing that’s probably left out is ‘Brother,’ and some versions do sing ‘Brother’ instead of ‘Guardian.’ So, when we say He is indeed our everything, it’s certainly no lie! 

And though the song is fairly short it is chocked full of biblical references. So let’s check out a few. We’ll begin with Peter’s confident words to the High Priest. ‘This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:11-12) Wow friends! Under those circumstances, what sweeter name can there be to us believers eh? None whatsoever!  

And when the hymn talks about manna to the hungry soul, it refers to the Lord providing manna for the children of Israel in the wilderness in Exodus 16. But when the people brought their arguments to Jesus about Moses giving their ancestors bread from heaven to eat. He calmly disputed them by saying. ‘Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. Then said they unto him, Lord evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:31-35) 

Ah mih people, Jesus is indeed manna to our hungry souls, for when we believe in Him, we neither hunger nor thirst spiritually! And we know what Psalm 147:3 says: ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows).’ Now, it’s obvious that talking about giving rest to the weary, refers to Matthew 11:28, where Jesus declares His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

And when we talking about building on the rock that’s Jesus, nobody says it better than Bruh David in Psalm 18. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (lit. rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress).’ (Ps. 18:3) You can’t get any more faith and trust than that. 

Now what about Jesus being our priest eh? Listen to the author of Hebrews. ‘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 of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our 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) 

What a wonderful person is our Jesus! He can sympathize with all our problems, yet be without sin. Now that’s an exceedingly good thing, otherwise He would not be able to redeem us. And we’ll do one last scripture, that’s where Jesus considers us friends. He clearly says to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’  (John 15:13-15) 

And there are lots more scriptures that we can pluck from the skillfully created masterpiece of John Newton. I would suggest some valuable homework; you look through the song yourself and see what other scripture references you can find. That ought to be an interesting task for a quiet Sunday afternoon (smile). Much LOVE!

…there’s no greater or sweeter sounding name in all the world…than that of…JESUS…                                                                                                                                  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2021 Philippians 2:11.

Philippians 2:11.    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

​​Gather round friends, gather round! It’s time to give thanks and praise to our magnificent and magnanimous God on His special day, Sunday, when He rested from all His labour, having created this wonderful universe and all therein in six days. Bless His holy name my faithful brethren, as we get together to hear His word and offer up songs of praise and worship. And yes, we are still gathering by technological means, although we are now allowed a few more people in the physical church, but it’s still not enough to warrant opening up. 

And today, we are going to open the proceedings with a hymn by John Newton. Yes, the same John Newton (1725-1807) who wrote the awesome hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ and several hundred others, after being a slave trader then finding grace and salvation with Almighty God. The website Hymnary.org, offers us this brief insight into Newton’s life. They say he “was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven.

His licentious and tumultuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton’s conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. 

In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide-surveyor in Liverpool, England, Newton came under the influence of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley and began to study for the ministry. He was ordained in the Church of England and served in Olney (1764-1780) and St. Mary Woolnoth, London (1780-1807). His legacy to the Christian church includes his hymns as well as his collaboration with William Cowper (PHH 434) in publishing Olney Hymns (1779), to which Newton contributed 280 hymns, including “Amazing Grace.” 

Ah friends, that just goes to show the power of God’s grace. He can take the biggest sinner and turn him into the greatest saint! And although we often try to run from Him, when He’s really ready for us, we don’t stand a chance! (smile) And I can tell you that from personal experience. Yuh see who the Lord put Newton with in his latter years; the abolitionist William Wilberforce. That had Newton plugging to abolish the very same abominable trade in which he was previously involved. And then the Wesley brothers, amongst the founders of the Methodist Church, and finally turning him into a priest and hymn writer. 

So my people, let’s wake up and acknowledge that it’s futile to run from God, but ever so wise and sensible to run to His always open and welcoming arms, as we sing this other wonderful song penned by John Newton, another of our church favourites, titled ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.’ And does it ever sound sweet mih bredrin. Therefore, let’s just take a moment and roll it around our tongues nuh, as we quietly and proudly say: ‘Jesus…Jesus.’ (smile) Yes, it’s a name that just trips off the tongue my people! 

Now, finally, let’s sing; in a medium tempo, with great gusto and sincerity, let’s raise our harmonious voices to high heaven. ‘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, toaccept 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.’ 

Oh friends, only the amazing and awesome grace of God can cause a human being to write such authentic meaningful and true words! And without a doubt, there’s no other name in the universe that can do or accomplish the things that the name of Jesus can. As Newton so eerily writes: ‘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.’ 

Wow! Which other name in this universe can do all of that eh friends? None whatsoever! That’s because Jesus is all these other things to us: ‘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,’ There again my people, no other person in this whole wide world can fulfill all those aspects of a human’s life. Only JESUS! 

Why, you ask? Because He poured out His sinless lifeblood for us on the cross at Calvary, to pay for our sins, showing the wonderful LOVE He bore towards us. And when He rose triumphant from the grave, then He most generously invited us to come to Him for rest and solace, safety, grace and mercy, salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven for all eternity. Now why wouldn’t I jump for joy when I hear that sweet and beautiful name of Jesus eh?

Oh friends, I want to quote some scripture to back up all I’ve said, but time and space will only allow me to do a few. So here goes. Right up front, Jesus lets us know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Right away friends, we see that to get eternal life, one must believe in Jesus, otherwise, no dice! 
And if you did not get that, then He clears it up even further with these immortal words: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) That sets the stage right there; nothing to do with God is possible without belief in Christ Jesus! 

Then we all know how Bruh David characterized Him: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps. 23:1-6) 

That’s simply talking about the perfect shepherd my people! And finally, as to Jesus’ glory, Bruh Paul had this to say: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth.And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’(Phil. 2:9-11) 

What else can I say eh friends? Jesus is the Greatest; El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And if you don’t know that already and sincerely acknowledge it, then please do so as soon as possible, otherwise, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!
.

..to sweeten a sour soul…just call out…Jesus…Jesus… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2020 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.     For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)

Let’s come together this Sunday morning my fellow believers to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise nuh! Yes, let’s come together on this Day of our Lord, whether it’s in a sparsely populated sanctuary with those few souls physically distanced, or by virtual technological means, for coming together is a must one day a week in keeping with the Lord’s command. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And by hook or by crook, we going to do just that. (smile) That’s the awesome power we believers have when we join up with our great God: nothing – no pandemic, or nobody – no government, can keep us from worshipping Him if we choose to do so. 

And today we going to open our worship with a wonderful song of praise, though some might consider it somewhat contentious, or if it’s even appropriate to sing in church, not because of the song itself, but because of the artist who sings it. The name of the song is ‘Buried Alive,’and it’s done by the Jamaican Reggae artist, Buju Banton taken from his Upside Down 2020 album. And yes, the same Buju Banton who was released from prison last year, and for the record is now more popular than ever. 

Now I know some of us are already turning up our noses and feeling mightily disturbed by the idea, but please remember who wrote the song ‘Amazing Grace’ that we consider such a splendid song and very worthy of being sung in church. It was the notorious slave trader John Newton, who transported our forefathers from freedom in Africa to slavery in the Western Hemisphere. It’s only after he got religion that he wrote that song. So for all we know Buju might have also gotten religion, and deserves a second chance, just like John Newton, who even became a minister after his slave trading days were done. 

So let’s not judge Buju, remembering Jesus’ words: ‘Judge not (do not condemn), that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt. 7:1-5) 

And now that we’ve cleared up that li’l matter, (smile) let’s get on with the singing nuh. It’s a nice, simple, rocking reggae tune. I sent it to some of you by what’s app yesterday, so you should know it, but you can also look it up on you tube. So with voices strong, in perfect harmony, let’s sing these words of second chance, of forgiveness and thanks, with sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. Buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating. 

Now all this time… I’ve been blind… only running against the wind. Friends of mine …pass with time… After living a life of sin. Now many give up, many give in. It’s my determination to win. I survived, the worst of times, I survived. Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. 

Oh, they made a ditch for one, but there would be two, In their attempt to out my life, The wicked things they do. But Jah made I brave, and I can’t care the grave, Oh no, The Lord is my salvation, Of whom shall I fear? Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. 

Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating… (One more time) Yes, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…’ 

Oh mih people, those words are so true of all of us! Every day we wake up alive, we must be thankful, because there’s a reason for it, or else the Lord would just take us home during the night hours. That brings to mind Jeremiah’s words on the Lord’s behalf. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)’ (Jer. 29:11) That means the Lord has a good plan for our lives if He leaves us alive here on planet earth, and it’s our bounden duty to find it, through prayer and reading His Word, and then live it to the best of our ability. 

Like the song says, we’ve been given another day, a second chance, so there must be a reason for it, and though we don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, we have to take hold of the reins and stay with Jesus, stand strong with Him, have that determination to win! For as they say, once there’s life, there’s hope. And if we have hope, then anything’s possible. 

And that’s exactly how we have to look at the current state of affairs of our world; we’re alive, God is still on His throne, in control of things, and He has a special plan for our lives, not calamity, which seems to be pressing in around us right now, but a future and a hope and we’ll survive the worst of times. So please let’s remember that awesome word ‘HOPE,’ which if held long and strong enough morphs into this other word ‘FAITH,’ with which we can move mountains in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me… (Phil. 4:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.     Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Well faithful soldiers and saints of Christ, that big day, the day of the Lord is here again, calling us to praise and worship in whatever way we can. And this Sunday is Thanksgiving weekend here in luverly Canada, so there is no better time than this to ramp up our thanks and praise to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, who has done so much for us, a bunch of poor, pathetic, undeserving sinners. 

And also, there’s no better song to sing today than this one which talks about our greatest gift from God; forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That precious fountain of blood which flowed from Immanuel’s veins and paid for our awful debt of sin, for evermore. And the official name of the hymn was ‘Praise for the Fountain opened.’ But now it’s generally known by its first line. ‘There is a Fountain filled with blood.’ It’s based on the Old Testament verse from Zechariah 13:1, re the cleansing of Jerusalem. ‘In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.’ 

But before we get into this beautiful old hymn, let’s get a li’l background on it and its writer, William Cowper, an English poet of great renown. (1731-1800) Born to an English clergyman father, physically frail and emotionally unstable, which the death of his mother at six further complicated. He studied law, but when called to the bar he experienced a panic attack which led to a mental breakdown and attempted suicide. That consequently led to a stay in a mental asylum. 

It’s claimed that during that time, while reading the Bible, he came across Romans 3:25 that Jesus Christ is “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” And through reading of the Scriptures, Cowper realized his need for a Savior and the need for forgiveness of sins. Consequently, in 1764, at the age of thirty-three, he dedicated his life to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Bouts of depression, melancholia and attempted suicide apparently peppered his life, but they say that ironically some of his best hymns were written during those times. And wonder of wonders, whom do you think he linked up with later in life – the one and only John Newton, the slaver turned Anglican Pastor, and writer of ‘Amazing Grace.’ And they teamed up over the years to write ‘The Olney Hymns’ Hymnal, (349 hymns) named after the town where Cowper and Newton were then living. 

Just more amazing instances of the Lord’s mysterious movements in getting His work done, through rather unlikely people. That’s why the Good Book says: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound (put to shame) the things which are mighty.’ (1 Cor. 1:27) 

So let’s get to it now nuh: in full, soulful and sincere voice, in a slightly rocking tempo, like the live worship video done by the band, Shane and Shane, let’s offer up our sacrificial praise. No dirge like music this Thanksgiving weekend, especially for such a wonderful gift from our Creator. 

‘There is a fountain filled with blood Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains: Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away: Wash all my sins away, Wash all my sins away; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r, Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved, to sin no more: Be saved, to sin no more, Be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved to sin no more. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die: And shall be till I die, And shall be till I die; Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die. 

When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue Lies silent in the grave, Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save: I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save, I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save; Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save….I’ll sing thy pow’r to save…’ 

Oh my people, what truthful and most magnificent sentiments! The precious shed blood of Christ is the greatest thing in this world, because it is the only thing that can take away our sins, when, like the thief who died on that fateful day with Christ, we come to the cross and let that crimson blood cleanse us white as snow! Mama Mia! No other faith can match the power of Jesus, because He is the Son of the One True God Jehovah! 

And interestingly enough there’s a book titled ‘Immanuel’s Veins,’ by Ted Dekker. The author apparently says that Christ bled on the cross for us…’For the heart of man.’ And talking about ‘Immanuel, God with us – that he would leave the spiritual realm and be present in flesh and blood in such an act of humility is a staggering notion.’ And it surely is! ‘He willingly gave His blood, in the flesh, so that others might find life, for it is written: “He did not come by water only, but by blood” (1 John 5:6), and ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.’ (Hebrews 9:22). 

This why blood is required for us to have life. And He didn’t give ‘just enough to satisfy the requirement, to fulfill a covenant or agreement? No. He gave it all. He gave His life. For us. Because He LOVED us.’ Yes friends, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life because He LOVED us. As Isaiah tells it: ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is. 53:5-6) 

And He did it all for LOVE, my brethren! That just goes to show the awesome power of LOVE! And I guess it’s appropriate here to quote the most important verse in the Good Book; the raison d’etre for it all: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that’s why Jesus said the greatest commandment is to LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, body and soul, and the second is to LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:37-39) 

Consequently, if we don’t have LOVE, and show LOVE, then we are not true followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…from the creation…to the revelation…it’s all about LOVE… 

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 20 January 2019 Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13.   ​If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
 

Ah Friends, it’s still white and somewhat beautiful, but possibly even more dangerous, deceptive and slippery because it’s also deeper! Yeh, not a single snowplough nor sand truck has come by to work on my neighbourhood since the first snowfall on Friday, and it’s been snowing some everyday since! I wonder where the people whom we paid so much money a couple months ago to clean our drive way are eh? 

And I’m sure the crooked councilors on the City Council are soon going to write me raising my property taxes, citing the increased cost of snow removal, when they’re removing less and less snow every year! Chuh! And the worst part of it all is that I’d planned to resume driving today, and celebrating by driving to church, planning to boast about how I had the best shotgun rider, Jesus Christ riding shotgun with me! (smile) 

But the powers that be seem to have had other ideas. I don’t even know how deep the snow is in my driveway, and there aren’t even any tire tracks in the lane. Added to that, I’ve never driven this car in so much snow yet, because I only got it in the summer, so I don’t know exactly how it will react. 

And I definitely don’t want to go out there and screw up my shoulder fighting with the steering and whatever else might happen. I even tried to contact my pastor to find out what was happening but could not get him either. So I decided to err on the path of caution, and stay home. So having said all of that to say nothing, (smile) let’s have church! 

And today we’re going to be opening the celebrations with those wonderful words of John Newton that we all know and LOVE so much, ‘Amazing Grace.’ And as the GodTube website tells us: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology—it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced. Later in life, Newton became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who lead the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.’ 

Ah my people, our great God works in such wonderful and miraculous ways, that if He could save a die-hard heathen like Newton, He can save any of us. So let’s sing those awesome words with true heartfelt gratitude, giving all praise and thanks to a most merciful and gracious God. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih breddren, can you imagine those words being written by a drunken, profligate sailor involved in the slave trade eh? But the story goes that on March 21, 1748, Newton’s ship was being battered by a major storm and he was lashed to the helm to try and keep the ship on course. He was there from one o’clock till midnight. 

That’s plenty time to think when one’s life seems to be slipping away. And apparently it was during that time the Lord knocked loudly on the door of his heart, and he never forgot it, writing:  “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” 

How many of us has God delivered out of deep waters eh my people, and not necessarily deep waters literally, but figuratively? Oh people, I am one of those He delivered out of deep waters literally on Lake Ontario many years ago, and whenever I remember that traumatic experience I surely give Him thanks and praise. 

And, “Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, 1805: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise.” Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.” 

And neither should we, my believing brethren. It’s also been said that Newton, though he realized the folly of his life, still felt that he was beyond saving, even if the Good Book was true; that is until he read the reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’  

Now that’s a very good question my brethren! One we should truly ponder ourselves, like Newton apparently did. And while doing that, we should also consider these most appropriate verses from James. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yeh friends, God is the Creator of Everything, and Giver of ALL good things! He’s ONLY and ALWAYS GOOD! He ‘s immutable, DOESN’T change! And all those who have been redeemed are His firstfruits; the first step in His redemption plan for ALL creation! 

So let’s consider all of that today nuh, and hope and pray and ask Him to help us come up higher in our faith walk and our undying LOVE for Him! That’s all we can do as mere mortals. But the right motives of our hearts do make a big difference with our heavenly Father! Much LOVE!

…the GRACE of God…the most powerful MOVER and SHAKER in His universe… 

P.S. The quotes above come from the GodTube website and John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace @Christianity.com. 

P.P.S. And would you believe, just as I’m about to send out the Bit, I hear them cleaning my drive way! Steups! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2017 2 Corinthians 9:6.

2 Corinthians 9:6.   But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.

Well greetings and salutations on this beautiful Summer Sunday morning my fellow believers! May the wonderful grace of God and His awesome peace be with and among us as we meet in His sanctuary to praise, worship, thank and glorify Him. And to get us going, let’s sing those heartfelt words of John Newton written so long ago, when he finally found God, and aptly titled ‘Amazing Grace.’

So with much passion and humble sincerity, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise to Almighty God. ‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. 

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Oh friends, what a magnanimous God we serve and worship! His undying and undeserving grace and mercy are what keep us going in this evil world. His is the salvation and eternal life to which we look, like a bright shining beacon in the dark, stormy night, offering guidance and safety from the perils on our earthly journey. 

No wonder Jesus declared, ’I am the light of the world!’ For without Him, our world would be covered in total darkness, the cover Lucifer needs for his evil deeds. So please let’s be everlastingly grateful for the brilliant and lifesaving light of Jesus nuh, which gives us true hope, faith and trust for the future.  

Now let’s turn to our Bit; one of the life principles of our great God. ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.’ More awesome truth of Scripture my people! Whatever we give out, shall be given back to us; whatever we sow, we shall reap, and sometimes in greater quantity too, whether it be good or evil. 

And today we’ll simply peruse some scriptures which agree with our premise. So listen to Cousin Sol as he contrasts the doings of the wise and foolish. ‘There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that witholdeth more than is meet (right), but it tendeth (leads) to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that witholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be on the head of him that selleth it.’ (Prov.11:24-26) 

Oh friends, yuh see, when we scatter, or water, or sell, meaning being generous in our giving, it usually leads to prosperity, but being miserly tends to poverty. So if we are interested in having a full and prosperous life, then we must be generous in our giving and helping. 

Meanwhile, the psalmist in Psalm 112 – Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord – joyfully declares: ‘A good man showeth favour (is gracious), and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion (justice)… He hath dispersed (distributed abroad), he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (strength) shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved: he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.’ (Ps.112: 5, 9-10) 

Yes precious people of God, as Christians we are called to live righteous and noble lives, giving and helping from humble and sincere hearts as our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did in His earthly sojourn, two thousand years ago.  

And Moses warned the Israelites long before that: ‘If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates (towns) in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide (freely) unto him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which he wanteth.’ (Deut.15:7-8) 

You can’t get away from it friends, the Lord has shown us LOVE and mercy and grace, and He expects us to do the same with our fellow humans. Now if some of us would only share some of the much we have with others in desperate need, there wouldn’t be as much poverty, sickness, homelessness and despair in our world today. 

But don’t forget, the Lord is watching each of us to see how we use the resources He so generously bestowed on us, and we’ll eventually have to answer for our good or bad stewardship. Now let’s end with a timely word from Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked (fooled, outwitted)” for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ (Gal.6:7) Words of utmost wisdom friends! 

So let’s remember that generosity is at the heart of the Lord, and it should also be a major priority in ours, if we sincerely desire to be true disciples of Christ. Much LOVE!

…you can only harvest what you sow…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2016 Psalm 66:16.

Psalm 66:16.    Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Aye friends, I know that it’s Friday and all that; that you all are shouting out very loudly and enthusiastically: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend done come… and the party soon start…and going all weekend long too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Well mih people, I want us to begin the party right here by singing a wonderful old song that we all know and LOVE. Last night I heard a most stirring rendition of it from Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley’s) programme, In Touch, featuring a youngster whose name I believe was William Kemp, leading the First Baptist Church of Atlanta’s choir and congregation. The music was beautiful too… 

Oh friends it sounded so good to me that I knew the Father had to be tapping, two stepping in the aisles of heaven. (smile) He definitely couldn’t sit still with such wonderful praise and worship reaching His heavenly home. And I knew that we just had to begin this morning’s proceedings with a wonderful rendition of it also. 

So please sing with me: ‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun. Amazing grace…how sweet the sound…that saved a wretch like me… I once was lost…but now I’m found…was blind…but now I see…’ 

Oh my believing brethren, what beautiful words and sentiments from the old slave trader, John Newton! Yuh see what can happen when Almighty God touches our hearts! So though you may falter in your walk with God, please DON’T GIVE UP, because with just one miraculous thought He can change your whole life! 

That brings us to our Bit, from Psalm 66 – The great works of God. ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.’ And precious people of God, we couldn’t ask for a better testimony of God’s grace and mercy than the words of John Newton that we just sang! 

And the psalmist continues after our Bit with a short testimony of his own. ‘I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled (praised, exalted) with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.’ (Ps.66:17-20) 

Yes my brethren, our merciful and gracious God will not turn away His ear from our prayer if our hearts are contrite and humble. Oh friends, why would He ever do such a thing eh, when He has specifically promised to bless those who come to him in humble repentance eh? 

Listen to the psalmist from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (crushed in spirit).’ (Ps.34:18) 

And Isaiah confidently declares: ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’  (Is.57:15) 

Oh what a beautiful promise my brethren! That’s why a man like John Newton, with such terrible deeds on his conscience, could come to Jehovah God and receive mercy, forgiveness and grace to ease his aching soul. The same options are still open today for each and every human being on planet earth my people. 

We just have to be brave and come to God with whatever is bothering us. He will dispose of our sins as far as the east is from the west, and give us grace and mercy to begin a new life under the protective umbrella of His mighty wings. 

And believe me friends, there is no better place to be in these trying and tempestuous times as under the protection of God, the Creator of the universe and all therein! Now, being cognizant of our short span minds, (smile) we’ll stop here for today, and continue the same trend tomorrow, God willing of course. 

Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, so that we can get a better perspective on how to use the weekend. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Please put those words into action my people, because they will certainly benefit us when Monday comes along. Much LOVE!

…without God’s transforming grace and mercy…mankind would certainly have perished a long, long time ago…