Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2022 Psalm 122:1.

Psalm 122:1.        I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Once again friends, it’s time to gather round and lift up our voices and hearts in praise, worship and thanksgiving to our wonderful God! It’s Sunday, the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, that makes it the most important day of the week! Let us not forget His warning, in no uncertain terms: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) 

And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today, beginning, as we always do, with a song of praise. Today’s song is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Crying in the Chapel.’ Most of us might know the Elvis Presley version, but there have been numerous versions down through the years since Artie Glenn wrote it in 1951 for his son Darrell to sing. However, it apparently languished in a desk drawer for two years until Darrell, while still in High School, finally recorded it in 1953 with Artie’s Band, the Rhythm Riders. 

From the time it was released it became a favourite, possibly because of the deep sense of peace and contentment it radiates. I believe Elvis’ version in 1965 was the biggest chart topper, but today we’re going to do a version by the First Lady of song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a more light and airy, bluesy, mid-tempo, but still very soulful treatment, not as dark and dirge-like as some of the other versions. (smile) So let’s open our hearts and voices and lift sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord – 

Meet your neighbors in the chapel, Join with them in tears of joy, You’ll be happy with the Lord – You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way) Yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s exactly why we are gathered here today in the Lord’s sanctuary; so that we can get down on our knees and pray, have our burdens lightened and find the way, which leads directly through Christ Jesus. Remember His fateful words. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! No one can enter into the Father’s presence unless they first go through the Son, Jesus, for He’s the Father’s gate keeper. As the psalmist says of children in Psalm 127: ‘Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.) (Ps. 127:5) Yes, friends, that’s what Jesus does for His Father; speaks with the enemies that come to the gate and drives them off, unless they bow to His wishes. 

Now that’s where we come in. We were once enemies of the Father, but once Jesus arrived on the scene, His sacrificial death on the cross killed all enmity, brought reconciliation and forgiveness, and now we’re LOVING Jesus and bowing to His every wish. (smile) But on a more serious note my people, the words in today’s song ring oh so true that we can’t help but pay attention. Listen to them nuh: ‘You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! But when you turn to Jesus, then you’ll find the peace that passeth all understanding. That’s His peace. As He so clearly defines it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Wow! There’s no peace on earth like Jesus’! 

And the good thing about it is that you don’t have to stand on no ceremony to receive it. As the song says: ‘ Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way.’ Yes friends, it’s that true and easy. Why yuh think Bruh David said in Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps. 122:1) 

And furthermore, it doesn’t have to be no fancy chapel, but ‘Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray.’ Oh my, my! And what happened there eh? ‘I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day.’ Plain and simple, straightforward, heartfelt communication. And what was the result of that communication? ‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, there are no tears like tears of joy, because they just refresh our souls, wash them clean, and bring contentment. But all of that can only be achieved when one is in strong league with Jesus Christ. Please remember that. The world and its evil sinful self cannot offer it. And before we end, I want to point out one very important fact in the song. ‘Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, being of one accord, of one spirit, mind and agreement is ever so important in the Christian life. Bruh Paul thought it so important that he noted it in several of his missives to the churches. Like this one to the Philippians. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation, solace) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy). 

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE (showing no partiality), being of one accord (united in spirit), of one mind (the whole church with the same values and goals). Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (selfish ambition or conceit): but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem other better than themselves (regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (be just as concerned for the needs and problems of one’s brother believer as for one’s own affairs).’ (Phil. 2:1-4) 

Yes friends, that’s how Christianity ought to work. It seems the church at Philippi overall wasn’t bad, but there was some disunity and lack of harmony, which Bruh Paul needed fixed for his joy to be complete in them. And oh, is there ever a great deal of disunity and disharmony in the current church of Christ, that He desperately needs fixed for His joy to be complete. So please, I implore us, for our children and their children’s sake, let’s get together seriously and sincerely nuh, and start working on narrowing our differences and divisions, many of which are selfish and petty and can be easily corrected if we truly want to be sincere saints of Christ. Much LOVE!

…nothing will warm the cockles of Christ’s heart…like His church truly being of one accord…                                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2017 Psalm 49:6-7.

Psalm 49:6-7.   They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.

Oh friends, I surely hope that the old adage that states what starts wrong turns our right is true yes, because my day certainly got off on the wrong foot. 

I got up early, partly because of some aches and pains in the ole body, then discovered that a blood test I had planned to take in the afternoon actually stated early morning. So I got myself together and rushed out to the nearby lab, which opens at eight. 

But lo and behold when I got there at seven forty five, there were already people sitting inside waiting, and a line that ran from the desk, all through the office and halfway up the corridor. 

Steups! No way was I going to get blood work done early enough to satisfy the doctor’s request, with at least twenty people before me. So I just turned around and came back home. And that’s actually to your benefit, because you’ll get the Bit earlier than if I had stayed at the lab. (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s certainly a challenge getting old yes, because you don’t know what aches and pains and illnesses will suddenly show up at some unexpected time. (smile) 

But yuh know what, in spite of all the challenges, I’m still glad to be alive and I give our heavenly Father plenty, plenty thanks for keeping me going, as He also helps me handle the challenges that come against me. 

And I’ll say it one more time: What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! There’s none LIKE Him anywhere else in this whole wide world! Please give Him some thanks and praise for being so wonderful to the undeserving children of men! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.’ 

And we all know that to be indisputable truth, yet many of us still strive for the riches of this world, hoping that it will bring them salvation. Chuh! What a foolish generation we have raised my people! 

All throughout the Good Book we’re told that the wicked will not see God’s face, for their abominable sins will cause them to crash and burn in the fires of hell. But yet many of us still insist on participating in downright evil thoughts and actions. 

Friends, there is no salvation in either an addiction to procuring earthly wealth or to be a proponent of evil, for you will take none of the wealth with you, and your evil deeds will only get you a hot date with Lucifer. 

And when we talk about redemption, there’s ONLY ONE who can redeem; that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And yuh see the exorbitant price He had to pay to redeem us: enormous shame and excruciating death on the cross. 

As Bruh Paul told the Galatians: ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made (having become) a curse for us: for it is written, CURSED IS EVERY ONE THAT HANGETH ON A TREE:’ (Gal.3:13) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul is there quoting Deuteronomy 21:23. Please look it up. And why did Jesus take this curse upon Himself for us? 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Galatians again: ‘That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ (Gal.3:14) 

So yuh see my brethren, if Christ had not borne our sins on the cross at Calvary, we, as Gentiles, would not have received the promise of Abraham, and would have been completely shut out of God’s wonderful and generous favour. 

That means we have to be eternally grateful to Jesus and live the righteous way He wants us to live. Even if we have been graced with a lot of earthly wealth, it is still very important for us to live a clean and righteous life. Why? 

Because when the roll is called up yonder, our earthly wealth will mean absolutely nothing, unless we have used it to help propagate God’s kingdom here on earth. And even then, though our good works down here will bring heavenly rewards, it’s our sincere belief in Jesus that will open the doors of heaven for us. 

So friends, I implore us to stop focusing on the wealth and possessions of this evil world, and instead to focus on our attachment to Jesus, develop a strong and enduring relationship with Him, because that is what will ensure our eternal life with Him! 

And now, having heard all these truths re our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and having them refresh our souls and spirits, let’s go home announcing to the world our sincere faith and trust in Him, by declaring our Wednesday Wail with plenty enthusiasm and much chutzpah. (smile) 

Wailing: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh friends, that’s the answer to all our problems right there; a wonderful present and future relationship with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…only Jesus saves…only Jesus redeems…only Jesus can open the door to heaven…that’s why He is indeed…the Way, the Truth and the Life…