Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. 
 

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!