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 31 August 2014 Genesis 2:3

Genesis 2:3.    And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

                                                       HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY T&T

 Oh my Friends and fellow believers, it’s Sunday – the day of our wonderful God – the day on which He rested after creating the universe! The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.’ (Gen.1:31)

I like how the Lord admired His handiwork and found it be very good. He took pride in what He had created, and so too should we.

‘Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them (the things He had created). And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.’ (Gen.2:1-3)

Yes my people, today is the Sabbath day for a multitude of Christians. We ought to fill it with as much rest, praise, fellowship and worship as possible. However, as this interesting and most appropriate quote of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) India’s first Prime Minister indicates, those things are getting more difficult to do with each passing day.

And the quote simply says: ‘The basic fact of today is the tremendous pace of change in human life.’  

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends. Life is changing so rapidly today that it’s difficult for many of us to keep up. From the numerous technological changes to the social ones, like almost all business places now being open on Sundays. That means more people have to work on Sundays, which obviously restricts both family and church life.

If Nehru thought life was changing fast in his time, can you imagine his reaction to the vast sea and pace of change that has taken place in the last sixty or seventy years since he reputedly made that statement? Hn! He would be totally shocked.

And talking about the pace of life and change reminds me that it’s already three years (August 31 2011) since my dear mother Molly went to be with the Lord. Three years have already passed, even though it seems like just yesterday.

Thank you Molls sugar for all the human and godly effort you put into raising me as a single mother. And I truly don’t regret one day of the time we spent together. It wasn’t always wine and roses, but I know you did your best with what you had, and even during what we considered hard times, we had it better than many others. The Lord always made a way for us to be satisfied.

I know that you are now singing and praising as heartily to the Lord in heaven as you did here on earth, and I’m trying to follow in your footsteps, though I’m nowhere near as good and godly as you were. But sonny boy is trying ‘M’ and I will do my utmost best not to tarnish your good name. (smile) 

I have one apology to make here though Molls. I obviously haven’t forgotten you, but it seems that in my busy and lazy lifestyle I have forgotten to come and visit you this year at your last earthly resting place. Please forgive me for that.

I am a tad upset with the Lord for not reminding me of that before yesterday, and there were so many days I could have done so with ease. However, don’t worry, there’s still time before the weather turns cold, and I will make up for it very soon.  

Now let’s turn to the second milestone in my life on August 31; that of Independence Day celebrations in my homeland of Trinidad and Tobago. I don’t remember a whole lot about that fateful day in 1962, for I was only about 14 years of age then and wasn’t too politically inclined.  I do believe I spent it on holidays in Trinidad.

In hindsight though, it was possibly the most significant day in the nation’s history. Under the first Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams, one of the brightest and most brilliant statesmen to come out of the Caribbean, the country dragged itself up by its bootstraps out of the murky mire of Colonialism and took its rightful place on the world stage.

However, some 52 years later, poor Eric Williams must be turning over in his grave at the mess, the disastrous situation and the terribly low standards to which the once thriving and peaceful country has deteriorated. Instead of being rightly famous for its carnival, calypso, steelband, limbo and laid back life, it’s now also targeted for being riddled with crime, drugs and corruption in almost all aspects of life.

Unfortunately, the leadership since ‘the Doc’ hasn’t been as strong or as focused on the overall betterment of the people as he was, thus the severe deterioration on all fronts. No one has come to the fore strong enough or interested enough to bridge the divide between the two main ethnic groups, those of African and East Indian origin. And until that happens, the country will unfortunately remain divided, hampered and stigmatized.

Please, let’s pray for a strong leader to rise up, and for the people to wake up from their fear and lethargy and turn back to God and godly things as once was the case. That’s the only way the total decline will ever be halted.

Now let’s close with some wise words from Isaiah on the observance of the Sabbath. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

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.58:13-14)

Oh my people, there it is – heavenly wisdom handed to us on a silver platter! Please let’s accept it nuh, so that our world can start being turned around. Much LOVE!

…for the sake of Jesus…our children…and their offspring down through the ages…let’s do the wise thing nuh…and turn back to Almighty God…