Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

And then it was Sunday: the first day of the week, where we slow down, take time to smell the roses and gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to offer Him our grateful praise and worship, and in return receive health, wealth and the ability to face the upcoming week with courage and confidence. 

Wow! What a mouthful! But a true mouthful! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And on that glorious note, let’s offer up some sacrifice of our lips by sincerely belting out this favourite old hymn, ‘Just as I am.’ So in loud voice and sincere belief, let’s raise our voices to heaven. 

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’ 

Yeh friends, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, our wonderful Saviour will accept us just we are. You know some places you have to clean up before they’ll accept you, but not with the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s looking for you at your worst possible state, because that’s one of the reasons he came to earth, to save the poor and needy, the sick and downtrodden. 

He is the ONLY One who declares that you can come to Him just as you are. And believe me, you won’t be wise if you don’t accept His wonderful 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) 

Oh my brethren, every time I hear that beautiful piece of scripture, my heart just jumps for joy, knowing that I have such marvellous person to turn to in my troubles and times of need. All glory be to God for Jesus Christ! 

Anyway, before we get into our Bit, let me apologize for my typo yesterday. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but instead of saying ‘you reap what you sow,’ I wrote ‘you sow what you reap.’ Technically speaking it’s the same thing, since you can only reap what you sow. (smile) 

And our Bit just reiterates the ideas we have declared in our hymn, and in the Great Invitation of Jesus.  ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Now why wouldn’t I put my trust in the Creator and Controller of the universe eh? Why would I put it in the foolish and deceitful rascal who tried to dethrone God and now aimlessly walks the earth backed by a façade of evil and deception, until the Lord is ready to immerse him in the lake of fire? I’m sorry friends, but as for me and mine, we’re rooting for Jesus! 

Now hear James, the half-brother of Christ, who like a lot of Christ’s family, did not believe until the end of His earthly ministry. Listen as James talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, God gives us more grace than any of the world’s attractions or the lusts in our spirits, which means we can withstand both of them. 

And the scholars explain the last three verses thus: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead (one) into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’  

The only advice I can give after reading all of that friends, is to read those references given in the scholars note. I just did, and believe me they are invaluable, they just strengthen your spirit and help you to better understand the Lord’s word. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2013 Job 16:1-2

Job 16:1-2.      Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
 
Oh Friends, another today is here! The question is how will we use it? Will we use it wisely, or unwisely? For all our sakes, I certainly hope we use it wisely, otherwise we’d be placing our selves, both our earthly and eternal lives, in serious jeopardy. And what does using today wisely mean, or entail eh? It simply means giving our hearts, minds, bodies and souls to God! Turning to Him for guidance and direction, each and every day of our lives, while attempting to walk the straight and narrow path that comply with His guidelines and dictates. So basically, using the day wisely, means allowing God to direct our footsteps. And the best way to do that is by seeking Him early in the morning, as soon as we get up, possibly before we even open our eyes, just be conscious that we’re awake. That gives the evil fool Lucifer less time to gang up on us and cause us to deviate from the straight and narrow before we’ve even begun the day. As the ole people would say, ‘take in front, before in front takes you.’ And you know it’s always best to read the directions on a package before using its contents, as well as know where you’re going before setting out on your journey. The same applies to starting our day. So Friends, let’s try and make it a habit of starting our day with God, as soon as possible after arising nuh. I guarantee that our days will turn out much better that way. Now turning to our Bit: ‘Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable (troublesome) comforters are ye all.’ Oh my brethren, what a story is Job’s later life! He’s living as righteous and faithful as he can, then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, he loses everything; his family, his health and his wealth. Unknown to Job, the Lord’s using him as a righteous example to Lucifer. And Job stays the course fairly well, obviously unhappy and confused, but not blaming or cursing God. But then, some days later, three of his buddies, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, who heard of his ‘sufferation’, show up together ‘to mourn with him and to comfort him.’ (Job 2:11) From what the Good Book says, Job must have been a real mess, because when his friends first saw him, they didn’t recognize him; ‘they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle (each tore off his robe), and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.’ (Job 2:12-13) Now that was real brotherly of them, and maybe they should just have kept their silence throughout their stay, because after that each one of them lambastes Job about why such a terrible disaster had befallen him. They all figure he’s committed some horrible sin, for which God has punished him. But Job knows that there’s no such horrible sin in his life. No wonder he’s astounded at the way his supposed friends lash out at him. Early on, he reproaches them by saying. ‘To him that is afflicted (despairing) pity (kindness) should be showed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away.’ (Job 6:14-15) Not only did Job’s friends berate him unfairly, his close relations had also forsaken him in his time of dire need. But that’s how it usually goes, although it’s not supposed to. Those who are suffering should be shown compassion and empathy, not dragged roughly across the coals, even though they may done something to bring the disaster on themselves. All that does is add to their afflictions and their sorrows. Then after our Bit, before complaining about God’s dealings with him, Job again rebukes his friends. ‘Shall vain (empty) words have an end? Or what emboldeneth (provokes) thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead. I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of (comfort from) my lips should assuage (relieve) your grief.’ (Job 16:3-5) Now that’s the way it should be my brethren! Whatever we do, or say, should have a positive effect on those who are sorrowful, not increase their sorrow, as Job’s friends did to him with their harsh, unfeeling words. That’s like the unfair snap judgements many of us make in this unfair and judgemental world. We’re quick to jump down the throats of others and criticize them from mere outward appearances, without having any knowledge of the true situation. Remember Jesus said; ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged. 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.’ (Matt.7:1-2) That means we should not be condemning others, judging their inner motives, especially on prejudiced information, neither use ourselves as a standard for the judgement, because it’s by that same standard we’ll be judged. Obviously Job’s friends didn’t follow those rules. Anyway my fellow believers, I believe we’ve got the general picture here, and since time and space are running out on us, let’s end with some wise words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, on the topic of comfort that we all know, or should know, but don’t practice sufficiently. ‘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) Bruh Paul is talking about his afflictions, and how God comforts him, so that he can comfort others. Now that’s how it also ought to be with us, my people! So as of today, let’s try to show a truer Christian side to our criticism and judgement nuh. Don’t condemn, and if we need to correct, let’s do it with gentleness and kindness, in LOVE, as Jesus does, and would have us do. Much LOVE!…the beauty of correcting or comforting with LOVING-KINDNESS…is that it greatly reduces the possibility of anger, strife and resentment…and greatly increases the chances of true comfort and consolation…