Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 January 2023 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.        The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Come Sunday, it will be all right… Yes friends, come Sunday everything will be fine as we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary on His day to give Him thanks and praise for His awesome goodness to His children! Nothing could be better than communing with our heavenly Father all in one place at one time. As the Lord’s word reminds us in Hebrews: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE, and unto good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:24-25) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And having been told off in no uncertain terms (smile) let us proceed to interact by offering up some sacrificial praise through this marvellous song of encouragement and strengthening, aptly titled, ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’  And as we raise our voices in sweet harmony, in an up-tempo version of the hymn, let’s do as the website Hymnary.org advises: ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ 

We definitely can’t go wrong, doing that my fellow believers. So let God’s people sing: ‘‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms…leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour….’ 

And you’d better believe that there is certainly no better place to lean than on the everlasting arms of Jesus! The story goes that the hymn came about from the letters of two past pupils of Anthony J Showalter, who informed him that their wives had died, and they were seeking consolation. And while answering their letters he was inspired by these marvellous words of comfort found in Deuteronomy 33:27. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ 

Apparently though, Showalter had some problems putting the hymn together, so he approached Elisha Hoffman, a prolific gospel writer for help, and together they wrote the song which was eventually published in 1887. Wow! Another oldie but goldie! And it’s revered as one of the greatest hymns for times of solace, as it encourages us to keep ‘leaning on the everlasting arms’ of God when seeking comfort. 

And why not eh, when Bruh Paul writes it so plainly in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! He comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort others in their time of need! What a simple but every effective way to do it. And that’s one of the reasons why consistent church going is important; you can’t be encouraged if you’re not associating with your fellow believers. And the opening lines of the hymn just exude comfort and consolation. ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine…what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ 

Then the chorus declares: ‘leaning safe and secure from all alarms;’ How could we not like this wonderful hymn eh? And for good measure, let’s hear some more of those comforting sentiments. (smile) ‘Oh how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way…O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ It certainly does my people. Therefore, ‘What have I to dread, what have I to fear, I have blessed peace with my Lord so near.’ Absolutely! 

That’s why the psalmist could unequivocally state in Psalm 91: ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust.’ (Ps. 91: 2) Likewise Bruh David in Psalm 27 was not afraid to proclaim: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1)  And we certainly can’t doubt Moses when he sings in his famous song: ‘The Lord is my strength and song (fortress, defense), and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex. 15:2) 

Yes friends, that magnificent Library of God’s Word, is filled with such sentiments throughout its pages. And not from hearsay either nuh, but from personal experience, thus it‘s ever so important for us to read, study and sincerely consider the many encouraging and uplifting anecdotes found therein. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Lord as He speaks to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites on the death of Moses. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall continually be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s really the only scripture we need to ever learn and follow yes! So please let’s begin doing it seriously and sincerely as of right now nuh. For then we will make our way prosperous and have good success. I‘m sure we all desire that. And it’s right there in the palms of our hands, ready for the taking. So please, let’s be wise and do it. Much LOVE!

…in the storms of life…there is no where else to find true peace and comfort…than leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ our Saviour… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2013 Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14.   Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 
Aye mih Friends, these days are going by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, to stay level with them! Look, just yesterday was Monday, now it’s already Tuesday today! (smile)
 
The days truly seem to be hurtling by faster and faster. But don’t worry my people, because if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you have it covered on all fronts: we have the Holy Spirit here on earth to lead and guide us aright, and when the final trump sounds, Jesus will come and take us home with Him.
 
Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And all God’s people gave a mighty and joyful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all knees shall bow, and all tongues shall gratefully confess and acknowledge that He is Lord of all!’ 
 
But unfortunately, despite all the coverage, I know that many believers are still struggling, are still oppressed and fearful, especially when we see the wicked prospering. However my brethren, though it’s hard, we cannot afford to look too closely at what others are doing to progress in this evil, ungodly world. We have to stay fully attuned to Almighty God and His dictates.
 
That’s why Bruh David in this explosive and illuminating psalm, superscripted, ‘the Lord is my light and my salvation, ends it with the wise, encouraging and confidence building words of Today’s Bit: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’
 
Please note Friends, Bruh David tells us to do two things, and a third will result. First we have to wait on the Lord, and that means waiting with strong, solid faith, not a wishy-washy kind of waiting, but a conscious and purposeful anticipation and expectation.
 
For as Hebrews 11 tells us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) For if we can see something, there’s no reason to yet hope for or have faith or expect it to come to pass.
 
And then he tells us to be of good courage. Hn! Now what does that much used and maligned word mean eh? Here’s a definition from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) which some of you might have seen on His programme In Touch some weeks ago. He defines COURAGE as: ‘The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, opposition or the challenges of life with fearlessness, firmness and calmness.’
 
And that’s as good a definition as we’ll ever get my brethren! Courage is truly the ability to stand strong when everything seems to be falling down around us. It helps us stay calm, rational and focused.
 
Now that doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid, but like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Do it afraid.’ And that’s possible because the faith in God that Bruh David talks about will strengthen and enable us to stand up to whatever difficult or fearful situation that comes against us.
 
And my brethren, in times of fear and trouble, please remember this awesome promise of our omnipotent and ever-faithful God: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17)
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! It’s a promise we can stand upon without fear of contradiction or recantation!
 
Oh my fellow believers in Christ, our God has been encouraging His people to be strong and courageous ever since time began. Listen to what Moses told the twelve spies that were sent into the Promised Land to reconnoitre it.
 
‘And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean (fertile or barren), whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.’ (Num.13:20)
 
Yeh mih breddren, whatever we do, we need to do with faith and courage, for this wicked world doesn’t take kindly to weakness. Yuh see how it takes unnecessary advantage of the poor, the sick and needy? It has no mercy whatsoever on those who are not at least internally strong.
 
And the only way to get that internal strength is through faith in Almighty God! Yes Friends, that strength and courage we need are acquired attributes. We have to consciously go after them with much diligence and perseverance.
 
And having said all of that this Tuesday morning, now let’s actively seek the face of our great and wonderful God, before we go out to face the enemy hordes, asking Him for that enabling strength and courage that comes to all who wait in patient faith on Him. That’s our prayer for this morning my brethren.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud, faithful and purposeful, ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name! Amen!’ and again we say, ‘Amen!’
 
Much much LOVE my fellow believers in Christ Jesus!
 
…only as believers stand and wait on the Lord…in patient faith…shall He strengthen them…  
 
P.S. Even though the Bit’s a tad late, there’s no reason to complain about its length today. It’s pretty short. Even I was amazed. (smile) Much LOVE!