Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2020 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
Sunday morning…time for church! Don’t let the inclement weather we have going in the G.T.A, or for that matter, good weather wherever you are, keep you away from darkening the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary this morning. (smile) Yes, good weather ofttimes can deceive us into not going to worship with our fellow believers, makes us feel we’d be better off doing something supposedly more enjoyable. 

But pray tell me people, what can be more enjoyable than meeting with a number of people who share our beliefs, who encourage us, then join with us to sing, praise, and dance before the Lord our God, to hear His magnificent and uplifting Word, and consequently leave His sanctuary refreshed, renewed, and full of the joy, peace and confidence that only He can give! Nothing friends…Nothing! So let’s get the show on the road nuh, beginning as usual with the singing and praising and dancing. 

And today’s song of praise is a fairly new Christian song that’s become quite popular over the years. It’s aptly titled: ‘In Christ Alone.’ The website Godtube tells us that the song was written in 2002, by Christian  songwriters Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. According to Townend “The song came about in an unusual way. Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. 

A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I LOVED, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.” 

And did they ever encapsulate a whole lot of stuff about Jesus! So let’s sing it now like we really mean it nuh, letting heaven know that we’re truly grateful for our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let our voices convey the sacrificial praise our hearts feel, in sweet, soulful harmony. 

‘In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of LOVE, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all— Here in the LOVE of Christ I stand. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of LOVE and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied; For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— 

Here in the death of Christ I live. There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine— Bought with the precious blood of Christ. No guilt in life, no fear in death— This is the pow’r of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand…Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand… Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand….’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends! In the amazing and awesome power of Christ we must ALL stand, because there has never been, and will never be another as magnificent and magnanimous as Him! As I keep saying He is indeed our EVERYTHING! Our hope, our light, our strength, our song, the cornerstone on which our faith is built, the ONE  who walks beside and guides us through the worst times of drought and storm… 

And don’t talk about LOVE…His is the greatest. As He said so simply and sincerely: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’  (John 15:13-14) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life, sacrificed it ever so selflessly for us, with the expectancy and anticipation that we would be His friends and do what He commanded us. Yes my fellow believers (steups!), Jesus didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk…on our behalf. He died that we could be alive and be reconciled to the Father; took our sins and gave us His righteousness…and so much more. 

That’s why when Bruh Paul talks to us about the ways of the believer (steups!), we ought to listen and obey. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) That’s exactly what He did my people, and as followers of His, He expects us to be obedient to His commands, do our best to adopt His character traits, because you know the Father’s ultimate plan is to have us all become like His Only Son…well as close as our human flesh and nature will allow. (smile) 

And we don’t even have time and space to touch on all the topics the songwriters touch on in our song. So we’ll just look at these last two; peace and comfort. Oh my my, Jesus is the Master of Peace: the peace that passes all human understanding! Here Him to the disciples nuh: ‘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) 

And Bruh Paul describes Him thus: ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us;’ (Eph.2:14) No doubt about that! He mashed up the old order and destroyed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them to exist in One body, His church. 

And when yuh talking about comfort friends, there’s no better place to find it than in Jesus! Here these extraordinary words from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28, 30) No one else can make that promise and keep it! That’s why I keep saying that Jesus is the ANSWER, for He has everything that you will ever need, both for this life and the hereafter! Please be wise and lean confidently, faithfully and reassuringly on Him! He won’t let you down! Much LOVE!

…The Prince of Peace…of Comfort…and of LOVE…Jesus Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
And Sunday, the great day of wonderful fellowship has arrived! Not that fellowship can’t happen at other times, but Sunday has been set aside by the Lord as the day He wants as many believers as possible to gather together in His sanctuary to sing and praise and exalt His holy name, to hear His amazing Word, then leave there with batteries thoroughly recharged, filled with LOVE, joy, grace, peace, mercy, spiritual strength and confidence to face the evil world in which we dwell! 

So let’s make a special effort to gather in the Lord’s house today nuh my people, so that we can have joyful communion with our great God and with fellow believers! Steups! Like I can’t spell believers either! Ah Lord eh! And in a most appropriate manner, let’s open the proceedings with a favourite song of praise that tells of the true greatness of our magnificent God, one aptly titled ‘How Great Thou Art!’ Oh, some people leave out the second verse, but I think that’s wrong, because like the first it describes God’s great work in nature. So we won’t leave out anything that glorifies our God! (smile) 

In full voice, like one harmonious whole, let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise, sincerely believing the words we sing: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy pow’r throughout The universe displayed, (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods And forest glades I wander I hear the birds Sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down From lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook And feel the gentle breeze, (Chorus:) And when I think, that God His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died, to take away my sin. (Chorus: ) 

When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!” (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!’ 

Oh friends what a joyful and grateful song! The Lord was most pleased with our praise. How could He not eh, when the words were oh so true and the sentiments sincere? For throughout the scriptures there are acknowledgments of all that we have sung above. And it’s said nowhere better than in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. 

Please declare with me: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah) from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ Ps. 148:1-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all been the Lord’s doing! As another psalmist gave voice: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth (deep) in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’ (Ps.33. 6-9) What an omnipotent God we serve and worship my people! 

But yuh know what, the second half of our song is even greater than the first half, because it shows God’s true greatness through His mercy, grace, compassion and LOVE for us sinful children of men. Only a truly great, and in total control Deity could have espoused a scheme so magnanimous as sending His only Son to pay for our sins as a sacrificial lamb on the cross of Calvary. The old song says that ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart,’ but our God was no fool nuh when He broke His own to save us from eternal separation from Him. That just showed the immense LOVE He had for His creation, though that creation had turned against Him. 

Here these poignant words of Bruh Paul nuh: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8) And Jesus Himself made it very clear with these awesome words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ It couldn’t get any better than that nuh friends! The Creator giving up His Son, His sinless wonderful Son to save a bunch of reprobates like us…

Chuh! I don’t see how we could not sincerely LOVE, worship, reverence, exalt and be obedient to Him nuh, after all that He’s done and has faithfully promised to do for us. But since we have free will, freedom to choose whom or what we serve, we getting stubborn and rebellious. Remember though friends, our God might be a compassionate Deity, but He’s also a God of justice and righteousness, and one day we all will have to answer to him for our earthly behaviour. Hebrews warns us quite clearly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb.9:27) Please put that in yuh pipe and smoke it. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well mih breddren, it’s Sunday morning, time to get thee hither to the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, praise, worship and exalt our heavenly Father and receive His blessings and confidence through His word for the upcoming week. 

Now yesterday we looked at the quote of our friend Anselm that talked about being judgemental in our youth, but after life humbled us with some serious life-lessons, we became more compassionate. Well since we dealt with judgmental attitudes yesterday I want to deal with compassion today. 

And it so happens that I went looking for a hymn on compassion to match our topic, and in the Lord’s grace and mercy was pointed to this beautiful modern hymn written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Lennox Getty and Stuart Townend. And it’s appropriately titled the ‘Compassion Hymn,’ with words that are ever so appropriate and heart-rending, putting our focus directly on Christ and His compassionate work on our behalf. 

You can google it and hear the beautiful melody and music that will definitely touch your heart and soul.  So let’s sing it out soulfully now nuh friends, in a medium tempo, in strong voice, with heartfelt sincerity, truly meaning the words of sacrificial praise that we offer. 

‘There is an everlasting kindness You lavished on us When the Radiance of heaven Came to rescue the lost You called the sheep without a shepherd To leave their distress For your streams of forgiveness And the shade of your rest 

And with compassion for the hurting You reached out your hand As the lame ran to meet you And the dead breathed again You saw behind the eyes of sorrow And shared in our tears Heard the sigh of the weary Let the children draw near 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show the world your compassion) We stood beneath the cross of Calvary And gazed on your face At the thorns of oppression  And the wounds of disgrace For surely You have borne our suffering And carried our grief As you pardoned the scoffer And showed grace to the thief 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE…) How beautiful the feet that carry This gospel of peace To the fields of injustice And the valleys of need To be a voice of hope and healing To answer the cries Of the hungry and helpless With the mercy of Christ (Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion) (repeat)’ 

Wow! Isn’t that just beautiful friends! It’s like a listing of all that Jesus has done for us; and it all falls under the heading of COMPASSION! No one has ever showed compassion like our heavenly Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that seems to be their middle name, as our Bit and the other scriptures we’ll share attest to. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, we should all be extremely grateful that the Lord is merciful and compassionate yes, else we’d be lost in hellfire a long time ago. And are we ever blessed that His compassion for us is brand new every day! Glory be mih people. And we’re going to highlight God’s greatest act of LOVE and compassion through the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates His own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! In that while we were still sinful enemies, still estranged from Him, He showed His great and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His Son to die on our behalf, so that we could be reconciled to Him. 

Mama Mia! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Exalt His holy name!’ And the best way we can do that friends, is by showing our LOVE and compassion to others, be they believers or not. 

Remember what we sang in the chorus above: ‘What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion.’ Yeh, we claim that we show the world your compassion every day. 

But is that really true, or is it as true as it can and should be? I don’t think so friends. If we were really showing the world God’s compassion through our actions, our world would not be such a divided, strife-filled and unhappy place, pervaded by so much poverty and sickness. 

So please, let’s get serious and begin living the words we sing nuh. Remember if it wasn’t for God’s compassion, we’d never have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and would be still hell bound instead of heaven bound. Much LOVE!

…only true compassion heals the wounds of the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.

1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.   And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…

                                      HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Aye mih people, the ole fella is way behind the eight ball this beautiful Father’s Day Sunday morning! Hn, hn! Although I went to bed very early, by my standards (smile) I found it very difficult to get up this morning. Don’t know why. But I managed to crawl out of bed and make it to the early church service as usual, and now am back, and don’t know what to write. 

But the Lord is faithful, and I know that He will show me what to write. However, in the Good Book, there are only a few references to Fathers the way I want them, and I’ve used them all up already. I want something new and fresh. But yuh know what? The Lord is the Boss, and it’s His will that’s going to eventually prevail. 

So if He says write the same old thing again, probably because we didn’t get it the first few times, (smile) then that’s what I’m going to write. I have enough disobedience on my record already. Now let’s turn to some praise and worship, some singing, to loosen up our hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. 

And today we’re going to belt out an ole favorite written by Maltbie Babcock, (1858-1901) a Syracuse born Presbyterian Minister, and it’s titled ‘This is my Father’s world.’ So let’s raise our voices to heaven, loud and sincere, in sacrificial praise my people. 

‘This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let earth be glad!’ 

Ah friends, this indeed our Father God’s world, so why should our hearts be sad eh? No reason whatsoever, but many hearts, especially young ones are sad, because they have no earthly father to cuddle and comfort and lead and guide them. Fathers are supposed to be an important part of a family but unfortunately in our society too many families lack fathers, and of those that have them living in, too many have not risen up to the standards expected of them. 

But enough of my preaching, remember I did not want to regurgitate the ole same ole. (smile) So while searching for a suitable Father’s Day Hymn, the Lord in His great faithfulness and amazing wisdom showed me two articles that dealt with the subject of Father’s Day, and I want to reproduce them both here for us. 

The first comes amazingly from a Facebook site, and it says: Father’s Day is a joyous occasion when children express thanks to their father for always being there. This occasion is one of the most eagerly awaited in all parts of the world. 

On this day, children give greeting cards and gifts to their father and spend the entire day with him. People take the opportunity to recognize what all their father has done for them and appreciate his genuine care and concern. One of the ways to express your true feelings for your father is through meaningful hymns. Read on to find some popular hymns for Father’s Day.’ 

I read on and came up with ‘This my father’s world.’ (smile) Yeh friends, Father’s Day is supposed to be a joyous day, but the part of the above article that hurts is that in so many homes, the father is not always there, so the children can’t celebrate with him and appreciate his genuine care and concern. 

And the next article comes from the Christian Media Magazine. And that says: ‘Father’s Day is more than just a day to honor the men that helped bring us into the world, but it is a day to celebrate the men that made us who we are today. This very important day is designed to acknowledge and offer praise, appreciation as well as gratitude to men we call fathers, whether it be by blood relation or mentorship. 

Most people believe that Father’s Day is only about giving gifts, but seem to ignore the fact that this holiday is meant to strengthen the distinct bond of a relationship between a father and his children. Being a father is a blessing directly from God and is God’s gift to us.’ 

I couldn’t put it any better than that friends. And we’ll end with one of the best pieces of advice ever given by a father to a son, that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) 

Now Bruh David was by no means perfect, and most fathers are not, but their advice can be worth much more than children can ask for or imagine. It upholds the ole saying; ‘do as I say, but not as I do.’ I know that can sometimes be seen as hypocritical, but the important thing there is to guide the children aright, even though our personal examples leave something to be desired. 

And I thought I’d be regurgitating the same ole, same ole! Hn! Glory to out great God and His awesome faithfulness on this Father’s Day! Please enjoy it with a modicum of circumspection, having Granny’s warning in mind. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Wiser words were never spoken my people! Much LOVE!

…The Lord is King…let the heavens ring…God reigns… let earth be glad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.   O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Top o’ the morn my fellow believers! It’s that wonderful day, Sunday, which means the gathering of Christians all over the world in the Lord’s sanctuary. And that can be any of the following; a magnificent cathedral, a small church, a house, a hovel, a palace, or under a coconut tree, wherever we can gather, to worship and give immeasurable thanks to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

Yes friends, wherever God’s people are gathered that’s His sanctuary, for He is there in full regal presence. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His holy name, for He is a great God, and indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

And in keeping with that truthful sentiment, let’s open today’s celebrations with this most appropriate hymn ‘How great thou art.’  It’s a hymn apparently based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg, pastor, poet and politician (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. 

After a brief thunderstorm, it’s reputed that he opened his window and saw a rainbow gilding the sky and all of God’s nature creations shining bright and fresh having been cleansed by the rain. Supposedly modelled after Psalm 8; Bruh David’s words exalting God’s glory and man’s honour, it was first translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. Later on, it was further translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine. 

So in strong voice and total harmony, let’s offer up this favourite hymn to our heavenly father, through the sacrificial praise of our lips.  ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

(Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ (repeat). 

Ah mih people, what wonderful and truthful words of praise, worship and adoration to our mighty God. That makes the opening words of Bruh David’s psalm a perfect Bit for today. ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

And there can be no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of those adoring words! For He is the ONLY truly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being in this whole universe. He created it, it belongs entirely to Him, and He controls it as He sees fit. Glory to God! 

And Bruh David continues to prove his contention. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention, or care for) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’ (Ps. 8:2-5) 

Ah friends, it ought to be obvious why God cares for us. In the first place He created us in His image and gave us His breath of life, so that we could worship Him and have a positive and productive relationship with Him.

From the day He created our forefathers, Adam and Eve, He’s LOVED us with His whole heart, and though He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, when they disobeyed His command, He never stopped LOVING His human creation nuh, we stopped LOVING Him. 

So it’s not rocket science why He did as Bruh David further describes. ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ (Ps.8:6-8) 

And why not eh? We are His most precious creation, the only earthly being He created that has the ability to communicate with Him. Just like we LOVE our disobedient and trying children, our Creator LOVES us the same way – and even more.

So let’s remember to continually thank and praise Him for all the good things He’s done for us down through the ages, is currently doing, and has faithfully promised to do in the future. And we’ll end like Bruh David did, with a shout of heartfelt praise: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.’ (Ps.8:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools and mad men…refuse to praise and worship their Creator…

 

 

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