Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2019 Exodus 20:8.

Exodus 20:8.    ​Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
Hello there my people, it’s Sunday, the day we set aside for fellowship, praise and thanksgiving in the Lord’s sanctuary. And today is a special Sunday, one we call Palm Sunday, where we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, like a king, with the people throwing their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on and joyfully shouting: ‘Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ (Matt.21:9) 

Yes friends on a beautiful Sunday like today, two thousand years ago, they welcomed Jesus as a king and conquering hero, but one week later they were howling like crazy for His blood to be shed on a wooden cross! Hn! That’s the fickleness of ungrateful and unfaithful man! Anyway, we’re not going to get into the Palm Sunday routine today because everyone else is doing it, and here on the Bit we try to be a li’l different from the rest. (smile) 

And as we are wont to do every Sunday, let’s open the proceedings with a song of praise and worship. Today’s ditty is called ‘In the midst of the rain,’ taken from the Bebe Winans album titled ‘In Harm’s Way.’ It’s a beautiful Christian, soulful ballad, so let’s raise our voices in song and do it justice nuh: 

‘Every time I lift my eyes to the sky, I’m reminded of a time in my life, When all the dark clouds hung over me, I was lost inside, in search of a key. I remember LOVED ones being so kind, Saying things would get much better with time. And I admit sometimes they did for a while, And then I’d find myself back under the cloud. 

(Chorus: Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.) 

When it comes right down to just you and me, There’s nothing better now that these eyes can see. And tell me what compares to all that you are? You are everything, yes my morning star! My mind, my heart and soul I now give to you. I’m under your command so what can I do? Cause I surrender all, all that I owe, And will follow wherever you go. (Chorus) 

There will never be another, Cause You’re nothing like the others. This LOVE I find in you, I found to be true! Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. But Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.’ 

Oh friends isn’t that beautiful! The words are marvellous, filled with awesome truth and our sweet, powerful and harmonious voices raised to heaven did it immense justice! All heaven had a tear escaping because of our heartfelt rendition! And how could it not be heartfelt eh, with touching situations like Jesus rescuing our souls right in the midst of a terrible downpour, when we feel so lost and alone? And having done that, then His amazing LOVE simply takes control of our lives and leads us down the right path, the straight and narrow one. 

All power and praise and glory be to out wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the name that’s above every other name, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! Yes friends, He certainly deserves all the pomp and glory with which we honour Him! 

However, I want to turn our attention to another important subject, one that we don’t seem to keep and revere as we ought to. I’m talking about the observance of the Sabbath. Now that’s always been important to our God, and it still is, but with man’s growing arrogance and prideful ways, the sabbath is constantly being diminished in our lives.

 Hear God’s commandment to the Israelites from the early days, even putting it in the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Yuh see friends, God gave us seven days in a week, but we ought to work only six and rest at least one every week, the way He did when He created the universe. I believe the Israelites took it to the extreme, taking every little thing as work, and ranting on Jesus when He healed a woman on the Sabbath. So Jesus had to smarten them up. 

‘The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass (donkey) from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed (put to shame): and all the people (multitude) rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.’ (Luke 13:15-17) 

Yes friends our God is not that strait-laced to expect us to do absolutely nothing on a sabbath! We just should not engage in too much stuff that not’s restful and pertaining to Him. And the scholars offer this explanation of the above verses: ‘13:15-17. Jesus makes His point well. But there remains in every generation the temptation for traditions and programs to take priority over people.’ 

So true that my people! No wonder Jesus had to inform the rulers of His time that ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27) And as the scholars tell us: ‘2:27-28. Jesus’ reasoning is that divine institutions on earth are to have a God-honouring, noble, and liberating function. Sabbath laws had for some degenerated into a mockery of God’s intent.’ 

And so it also has in our time. But please note that if we honour the Sabbath. ‘Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:14) That’s God’s promise friends! Much LOVE!

…honour the sabbath…and the Lord will honour you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2015 Psalm 97:7

Psalm 97:7.    Confounded be all they that (let all be put to shame who) serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Welcome my fellow believers to the first and best day of the week; Sunday! Two decades ago it was primarily a day of rest with mostly church going and family gatherings. But unfortunately the busyness and supposed advancement of life intervened and now almost everything is open 24/7. 

Obviously that has detracted from those things we once held sacred on a Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean that church attendance, rest and family gatherings are any less important now, perhaps they are even more important because there is less time and opportunity for us to engage in them with a lot of people on different work schedules. 

And worshipping Almighty God as a body of believers, Christ’s Church, is still of the utmost importance in our Christian faith. For it is where we get together to sing and praise the Lord, read the Good Book, hear it explained, and thus boost our spiritual selves, and consequently leave the house of worship renewed and reinvigorated in bodies, souls and minds to face another week of backbreaking and mind boggling labour. (smile) 

Again we might consider fellowshipping even more important now, because of the many more activities that vie for our time, and it’s so easy to put off that renewal of spiritual self in favour of some other worldlier pastime.  But Friends, as I keep reminding us, that is not a very wise decision, for basically how you spend your Sundays, that’s how your work week will bottom out. 

Why do you think the psalmist encourages us thus: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care).’ (Ps.95:6-7) 

Oh Friends, when we sincerely get together and worship the Lord our God, worthwhile emotions like peace, joy, togetherness and LOVE fill our souls. Then that enables us to put on the mind of Christ, to LOVE the Lord and reach out to others in need. 

And our Bit seriously warns us: ‘Confounded be all they that (let all be put to shame who) serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.’ 

And shame is putting it rather mildly my brethren, for listen to what the Lord said long ago, when He gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before (but) me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (worship them), nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting (punishing) the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands that LOVE me, and keep my commandments.’ (Ex.20:3-6) 

And having heard all of that Friends, I don’t see how we can now blithely hold the things of the world more important than our great God. And furthermore, the Lord thought it important enough to remind the Israelites, and us to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, not thy maidservant, nor thy cattle; nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 

For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Now we won’t get into any divisive arguments about which day is truly the Sabbath day because that in no way furthers God’s kingdom, but suffice it to say that we must give one day each week to God. So whatever day our denomination chooses to worship Jehovah God, then we should be present to participate in the praise and thanksgiving and fellowshipping. 

You’ll notice too that Jesus considered it very important to attend the synagogue, and wherever He was on the Sabbath day, He made it a practice to faithfully attend. So if Jesus believed it necessary to go and worship the Father, who are we not to think it important eh? Ah mih people, I don’t know why it’s so difficult to get supposed Christians to go to church nuh, when it is required of their faith. 

One recently told me that they don’t need to go to church to have a personal relationship with Christ, and that is perfectly true. But Christ also said that He wants his followers to gather together as one body, His church, where fellowship would be paramount. 

No man is an island, and can’t live by himself, but needs other humans around him. Likewise, no Christian can live unto himself, but needs others of like faith and belief to help him walk the long and oftimes lonely and difficult road that is this earthly pilgrimage.  

Oh Friends, I’m pleading with us this Sunday morning to return to worshipping Almighty God in His sanctuary in numbers like we used to do. It is a requirement of God and our faith, and we each need it, the benefits are very worthwhile. 

So please let’s put God first in our thoughts this morning, and let it take us to His house, along with our children, so that we can sing and dance and praise and worship our wonderful Lord and Creator. That is what He desires of us, He says it in His word.  And it also signifies wisdom on our part, wisdom of the highest degree. Much LOVE!

…one can’t truly live for Jesus…if one is not a sincere member of His body…His church…and gather regularly with other believers in praise and worship…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2015 Psalm 55:22‏

Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

So Friends, it’s Sunday, and I do hope that a significant part of our day has been allotted to going to the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him with other believers, for that’s what He expects of us on this first day of the week.

And some serious rest and relaxation should also be included, so that we can rise refreshed and renewed tomorrow to go out and face the heathen in the work world, strong and steadfast in the LOVE of Jesus.

Yes Friends, Sunday is possibly the most important day of the week in the lives of those Christians who celebrate the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day of rest on that day.  In fact, on whichever day you celebrate the Sabbath, that should be the most important day of the week for you, for we have been commanded to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work.’ (Ex.20:8-9)

And keeping it holy means getting together with the Father in a big way, spending most of the day resting and concentrating on Him and His wonderful promises and deeds on our behalf. And now that I’ve reminded us of all that, let’s hope that I’ve more than just piqued our interest in church and God this morning. (smile)

That means if you are physically able, you will get up and go out to church and praise and glorify God, and in return get godly encouragement, Christian fellowship and spiritual ‘upliftment’ from associating with other believers. Yeh mih breddren, associating with other believers is a very important part of our pilgrim’s journey, for Jesus wants us to be like one total, composite body, though we are individuals and all have our separate roles to play.

He’s staked His reputation on the one body, the church, made of all His followers from all parts and cultures of the earth. So please, let’s try and come together in His name nuh, rather than the serious separation we’re unfortunately witnessing these days.

And one way we can enable and ensure that that happens is by all of us seriously taking the advice of our Bit and putting it into sincere and positive action. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’

Oh Friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other supposed deity makes promises, faithful promises like that, and it is definitely in our best interest to take Him up on His word.

Now let’s look at some scriptures that support our contention. And to start, we’ll go all the way back to the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. Many blessings would befall them, if they walked in obedience to God’s Word.

Listen to Moses tell it: ‘If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do (observe) them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts (eliminate wild beasts) out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.’ (Lev.26:3-6)

Yes Friends, that is what happens when we surrender our lives to God, and walk in obedience to His will. He blesses us and our land mightily. And you can read the rest of the blessings for yourself from Leviticus 26:7-13.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 56 – a confident prayer for help. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)

Ah mih people, what powerful words of faith and encouragement! But we can only be so brave and bold when we have definitely cast all of our cares on God and are sincerely trying to do His will.

And Isaiah wisely tells us in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4)

Yuh see my brethren, all these men of great faith had at least one thing in common; they believed in the Most High God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and displayed the utmost faith in His promises because they saw them being fulfilled.

Now why can’t you and I develop such awesome trust and faith eh? I don’t know nuh. But I do know that until we totally surrender to Jesus, cast all our cares upon Him, and be obedient to His commandments, we will not be blessed as abundantly as we can and should be.

It all depends on us now Friends; our lives will be blessed or cursed by our response and reaction to Jesus’ outpouring of LOVE.  So we have no one to blame but ourselves, for the way our lives turn out in the long run.

And to solidify all of that advice and promise, I’ll leave us with another most wonderful promise and bit of encouragement from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘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)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, how can we not be moved by such heartfelt words of heavenly wisdom eh! Now let’s go and put them into action, so that we can become the strong body of the church that Jesus desires and is depending on, to do His will here on earth.  Much LOVE!

…surrendering our lives to Jesus…is a complete no brainer…for when we do…He faithfully grants us His wonderful blessings…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2015 Psalm 25:12

Psalm 25:12.       What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

Well Friends, once again we’ve come around to Sunday; the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, the day of rest and fellowship, the Sabbath Day?And what does the Good Book say about it: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Ex.20:8) And that’s otherwise known as the 4th commandment. And what did the Lord do to it? ‘The Lord blessed the Sabbath and hallowed it.’ (Ex,2011b)

Yes my people, the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy, which makes it a special day, one in which we should show bountiful respect and reverence to Almighty God, our Creator and Strong Provider!

And we usually do that by resting, by spending time with our families, as well as congregating to worship and fellowship with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever it’s safe and appropriate. That’s where we get our spiritual batteries recharged and replenished, and our faith, courage and confidence strengthened, so that we can handle another week of work and whatever else comes our way.

And strangely enough, possibly through God’s mysterious workings, I was just reading an article on the Sabbath, and the author was saying that a lot of stuff, of illness that we’re diagnosed with is technically inaccurate, for our basic problem is rest. We don’t rest enough, neither do we observe the Sabbath day as much as the Lord would like us to, that’s why we’re so stressed out, impatient and angry.

And he does have a point, for before almost everything was running 24/7, and we wanted everything now for now, we had time to rest, to fellowship with other believers and to spend fruitful time with our families. We won’t that stressed or impatient – in fact stress wasn’t even a high subject on our radar screens as it is now – because our souls, bodies and spirits had adequate time to rest and be renewed.

I remember when I first came to Canada, some forty odd years ago, nothing much opened on a Sunday and sports events began sometime in the afternoon, so that everybody had a chance to go to church and possibly have family time together.

Unfortunately though, a generation later, all of that has changed. Almost everything now is opened 24/7 and thus we’re too busy or tired to go to church, or even communicate with our immediate families, unless it’s by one of the many new forms of social media.

What a sad state of affairs my brethren! Nowadays, families, or rather households seldom eat or gather together like families. We’ve forgotten the old adage that families that eat and play together, stay together.

Oh Friends, I don’t know how we can successfully get back to reuniting the smallest and most important group of our society, the family. But I do know that if we don’t try and revive it, as well as rest and rejuvenate ourselves properly every week, our society is just going to keep going to hell in a hand basket, as it currently is.

So for all our sakes, I implore us to start getting back to the old meaning of family nuh. Well there really is only one true meaning of family – a LOVING, caring, responsible, energizing, encouraging, tightknit unit of society.

It’s obvious we can’t shut down most of the stuff that’s now open seven days a week, but we can certainly put forward greater efforts to make time to be together, both as blood families and church families, especially on the Sabbath day, so that we can at least keep one of the Lord’s commandments in this evil and ungodly world.

And the good, or rather great thing about it all, is if we do that, then the Lord will teach us what he wants us to learn, as our Bit declares: ‘What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.’ Gospel truth that, Friends! For the Lord will gladly teach His ways to anyone who truly revers and respects Him. Why wouldn’t He eh?

And Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘His soul shall dwell at ease (in goodness); and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear (reverence) him; and he will show (cause them to know) his covenant.’ (Ps,25:13-14)

That’s simple logic my brethren, for we all behave like that with earthly organizations and earthly leadership, by gladly teaching our ways to those who desire to follow us. And we’ll close with these beautiful sentiments on the subject from Psalm 31, where Bruh David declares his trust in the Lord.

‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city.’ (Ps.31:19-21)

Yes Friends, that’s the kind of awesome protection and help we have to look forward to when we place our faith and trust in Almighty God!

So please let’s show some wisdom by returning to His fold if we have left it, or by simply strengthening our belief in His power, faithfulness and unconditional LOVE for us, so that we can step out in faith and do a better job for Him than we’re currently doing.  That’s truly wisdom from heaven. Much LOVE!

…trust and faith in Jesus don’t come easily…but when they do come…the rewards are wonderful…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2014 Matthew 6:33

Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Aye mih breddren, it’s the blessed day of the Lord; Sunday, the Sabbath Day! The day on which our great God rested, took a break from His labour of creating the  universe and all therein. And in His Word, He specifically advises us to do the same.

‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11)

Now that ought to wake some of us up, because we feel that we should be working all the time, everyday of the week. That’s obviously wrong, for work is not the panacea for our ills; Almighty God is! So today let’s put that idolatry behind us and get some rest, as well as darken the church doors, especially for those of you who seldom darken them. It never ceases to amaze me when I hear or read about those folks who only go to church at high times like Easter and Christmas.

Steups! Hope if any of you are reading this, that you went to church and fellowshipped with other believers this Christmas season. And from here on in, you will go to church regularly.

Remember Friends, we’re not doing God a favour by going to church, but ourselves, because church is where we’re supposed to come together as one in the body of Christ, to praise and worship Him and receive encouragement and uplifting of our faith, so that we can stand strong and face the persecution and unfairness of the evil and ungodly world in which we currently live.

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ And as with most things that have to do with faith and God, my people, we have to step up to the plate first, before the promises of God are fulfilled.

We have to first see the promises through the eyes of faith, believe that they will come, before they come. Otherwise faith would not be necessary for ‘faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So if we see something, then there’s no need to hope for it, as Bruh Paul told the Roman church. (Rom.8:24-25)

Now hear are some timely and important explanations from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘6:33-34. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by the statement seek ye first the kingdom of God. The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeto) indicates a continual or constant seeking.

The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’

Yes Friends, glimpses into the past and the future are indeed necessary at times, but generally speaking we need to live in the present, seeking the righteousness that is found in the kingdom of God, and if we do so, the Lord will fulfill all our material needs. That’s a promise of Jesus, and we all know that Jesus doesn’t lie, cannot lie, therefore doing as He advises is common sense and sound wisdom.

And we have one of the best examples of the promise being fulfilled when upon ascension to his father, Bruh David’s throne, the Lord asked Cousin Sol what he desired. And Cousin Sol, instead of asking for wealth and power, wisely asked for wisdom and understanding. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgement (justice); Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:9-14)

Oh Friends, yuh see how our God keeps His word! And He even goes overboard too, giving Cousin Sol the wealth and power that he had not asked for. He will act in the same manner towards us, if we sincerely seek the things of His kingdom and His righteousness.

And we’ll close with a word on the subject from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.’ (1 Tim.4:8)

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘4:8. That verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited values, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’And that’s the gospel truth my people! So please, let’s go out today and start seeking the righteousness of God and not the unrighteous things of the world. For that’s wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom comes from sincerely seeking God…not from dallying in the lusts of the world…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2014 Luke 4:16

Luke  4:16.     And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

And then it was Sunday – the first day of the week! Yes Friends, the day that we believers use to get up close, comfortable and personal with our omnipotent, but ever so magnanimous and generous God, by extending much praise and worship to His divine majesty!

Wow! What an awesome privilege! But please note that I said the first day of the WEEK, not the work-week, for they are two different things.

Sunday is the day we prepare ourselves with joyful worship to start a new week on the right foot, in a relaxed atmosphere with other believers, so that when the alarm goes off on Monday morning, the first day of the WORK-WEEK, we’re not tired, miserable and disjointed. We rise with a preparedness, with a high energetic level, which sets the standard for the rest of that day, and also for the rest of the week.

Oh my people, to be ready for whatever Monday brings, we have to start preparing from Sunday. And the best place to begin that preparation is in God’s house, listening to His Word, and bringing down, or rather raising the roof with songs of praise, thanksgiving and worship!

In other words, the best way to greet Monday, is by going to church on Sunday! (smile)  And this behaviour of going to God’s house on the Sabbath day is best exemplified by none other than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Listen up as our Bit informs us. ‘And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.’

Now the overriding words in that sentence my brethren, are, ‘and, as his custom was.’ That tells us that wherever Jesus found Himself on the Sabbath day, He made sure and attended the synagogue to praise and worship with others of His faith.

And remember what the scholars told us recently: ’12:3-4. Though chapter 11 (of Hebrews) provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance (and all else) is Jesus Himself.’

Consequently, using that undeniable logic, (smile) if Jesus could make sure that He was in His Father’s house on the Sabbath day, then why should we, His ardent and true followers be any different eh mih bredden, when He is our guide and esteemed leader? No reason at all my people!

Our God did not establish His house, His sanctuary, for no good reason. There’s always a legitimate purpose and reason behind anything our heavenly father does. And His house was established as a meeting place for His followers, so that they could glorify Him as one big family.

And as Jesus so rightly declared when He threw out the moneychangers and other business people from the temple: ‘It is written, My house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ (Matt.21:13)

Mark also tells us about Jesus’ habitual presence in the synagogue on the Sabbath. ‘And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.’ (Mark 1:21)

But Friends, Jesus wasn’t the only man of faith to make it a regular habit to visit God’s house on the Sabbath. Listen as Acts describes Bruh Paul and Barnabas’ actions at Antioch. ‘But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.’ (Acts 13:14)

Now hear of Bruh Paul in Thessalonica: ‘Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner (custom) was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.’ (Acts 17:1-2)

Note Friends, the Good Book specifies, ‘as his manner (custom) was.’ And he spent three Sabbaths there reasoning with them on the scriptures.

And though we’ve been talking about the House of God for worship and prayer, a building or a tent, or some physical structure isn’t necessary for prayer and worship, the true criteria is basically wherever God’s people choose to congregate. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)

And a good example of that is also found in Acts, where Bruh Paul is in Philippi. ‘And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was won’t to be (customarily) made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither (met there).’ (Acts 16:13)

And the scholars offer this info: ’16:13. Jews often gathered by a riverside on the Sabbath when their community lacked enough Jewish males to establish a synagogue. Since the institution of the synagogue is usually dated with the Exile (as in Ezek.11:16), this practice may also have arisen from Ezekiel (1:1; 3:15).’

So Friends, it’s obvious that gathering to celebrate and worship our God is essential for our wellbeing on at least one day in seven. Now that isn’t too much to ask, is it? If God could rest from His labour of creation on one day to admire His handiwork, then so can we rest on one day to give Him praise and thanks.

So the obvious inference from all of that my people, is that we should get up and go to church today, and if possible, every Sabbath day. For in that rests heavenly wisdom. It’s so good for both the body and the soul! Much LOVE!

…one day…only one day the Lord asks for…to rest and pay special attention to Him…and only Him…therefore…remember the Sabbath day…to keep it holy… (Ex.20:8)