Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2018 Matthew 18:11.

Matthew 18:11.   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Oh friends, I had intended to begin with a light hearted opening about going to bed late and getting up late, because that’s what happened to me last night, and put forward some joyful stuff. But our world and our God moves in such mysterious ways that when I opened my e-mail a short while ago, I got some sad news, and now the Bit is now going to be turned into a remembrance for my dear departed friend and brother, Finbar Sebro. 

Oh yes, he was the closest thing I had to a practical brother while growing up in Darrell Spring, though we were not related. I remember him coming down from the country, Castara, and living with his bachelor uncle just down the street from me. My mother Molly cooked for him and he spent more time at our place than at his. 

I remember arguing with my mother about her treating him better than me sometimes. But she always said that was for me, like money in the bank, someday somebody would treat me well too. And it has certainly happened many times over the years. 

One interesting aspect of Finbar and my relationship is when we were prefects in the higher grades in Bishop’s High School, with authority over the lower classes, my mother packed lunch for us in a series of carriers, but neither of us wanted to carry it to school, through both laziness and pride. (smile) 

We already had our books to carry, and who wanted to be seen walking around in our exalted position as prefects, with a bag that everybody knew had food in it. But come lunchtime we couldn’t wait to dive into it. (smile) Taking it home after school was just as bad, especially when Finbar began walking home with his high school sweetheart and eventual wife, Joan. Sometimes we’d even intimidate some youngster living in our area to take it home for us. 

Finbar was always more studious than me, and when I’d be out and about gallivanting, he’d be at home studying. And that discipline certainly paid off as he eventually became the principal of our Alma Mater, Bishop’s High. What a way to go mih brother! 

The last time I saw him was the early part of 2016 when I was in Tobago. Like me, the Lord had called him to do His work and he had become a lay preacher in his Methodist faith. He read the Bit and couldn’t figure out how I could do it day after day. We laughed at the fact at what we were when we were young, compared to how the Lord was using us in our later years. 

Recently I heard that he’d been very ill, but I spoke to him on the phone some four or five weeks ago, and it seemed like he was getting better. Chuh! I expected to meet up with him when I went to Tobago next winter. However, the Lord was apparently ready to take him home. And that sometimes is a much better option to suffering here on earth. Rest in peace Finbar, mih brother! 

And as the tears well up in my eyes, and I can’t go to Tobago to wish you a last farewell because of my own medical problems, I know that one day we will meet again in the sweet bye and bye and will be able to reminisce, without any pain or sorrow about our good lives here on earth. Much LOVE my friend! 

And to you Joan, and his family, my deepest condolences, for you know how dear he was to me. And believe you me friends, I don’t feel like writing the workingman’s song this morning, so let’s just get to our Friday Chant, that hopefully will elevate my spirit some. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, though it hurts to see our friends and family go, it is indeed reassuring to know that they are going to a better life than this one, because of Jesus ‘ selfless work on our behalf. As He says in our Bit for yet another day: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ And is it ever true, and are we ever thankful! 

And Jesus made that clear on more than one occasion. Listen to Him as he rebuked the disciples who wanted to call down fire and brimstone on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome them. (Luke 9:51-54) ‘But He (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

He said the same thing when He went to have lunch at the tax collector Zaccheus’ house and everybody derided Him for eating with such a terrible sinner. But Zaccheus repented of his evil ways. ‘And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth of truths! We can’t save ourselves so we need somebody else to do it for us; His name is Jesus! 

And we’ll close today, most appropriately, with some of the most profound, if not the most important words in the Good Book: ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ And so should we my people for His mercy, grace and forgiveness towards us a most sinful bunch of ingrates! Much LOVE!

…the lost cannot be saved…until they realize that they are lost…


 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

Ah friends, it’s a gloriously wet fall morning in my neighbourhood! The fallen leaves are all plastered to the ground, wet and soggy. And surprisingly, many of the trees still have lots of green leaves, because the chilly fall weather has not hit us continuously as yet. 

Most of the days are still fairly warm, shirt-sleeved affairs. But it’s coming…eventually all those leaves will fall to their winter demise. 

And it seems that both my computer and I have been negatively affected by the inclement weather. For the last ten minutes or so my trusty machine has been rumbling along doing its own thing, with very slow response to my commands. 

I know it gives me a couple moments of grief every time I turn it on, but today’s spell seemed rather long. I am also a tad under the weather, just a tad though, (smile) possibly because of a late night early morning scenario. 

And all I can say is that the Lord is testing me even before I write, as I contemplate writing something on patience. But that’s a customary occurrence; either before or after I write, I get tested on whatever I’ve written, so I can’t really complain. 

Anyway, here is what I want to write about patience. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr.Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, and most likely I’ve shared it before, but we still need reminders on certain topics every so often, throughout our earthly days. 

And Gramps Schuller puts it this way. ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully. Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. 

I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And all of that is ever so true my believing friends! God can move mountains immediately, if He so desires, but that will just totally spoil us and we’ll learn nothing from the experience. We would’t grow and become the true image of Christ if God just spoon-fed us all the time. 

He didn’t spoon feed His wonderful sinless son Jesus during His earthly sojourn, so why do it with us sinful ingrates eh? We’d just become more sinful, rebellious and less grateful, if that’s at all possible. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Oh, I know the verse contains more than that that, but right now we’re only concerned with the patient aspect of it. And waiting patiently on our God, is one of the best moves we can ever make in this life my brethren. 

Now after making that poignant statement in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – Bruh David comes back in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer – and joyfully proclaims: ‘ I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 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.’ (Ps.40:1-3) 

Yes friends, we are amongst the many who have seen Bruh David’s faith, trust, and patient waiting on the Lord, and how he eventually exalted him. Remember it was several years and many heart-rending trials and tribulations between the time that Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel, before he actually ascended to the throne. 

And even more importantly, those trials and tribulations were what made him the good king and leader that He was. For as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the Romans in his talk on the results of justification. 

‘And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); and patience, experience (character); and experience hope.’ (Rom.5:3-4) 

Yes my fellow believers, patience is not only waiting, but also persevering, keeping keeping on during the struggles, because that’s when and how we build character. And we see it all exemplified in the life of Bruh David. 

Now note Bruh David wasn’t perfect, he had his wrongdoing too, for which he paid dearly, but overall he stuck as closely as possible with the Lord, enduring the slings and arrows that came upon him with the Lord’s help. 

Likewise my faithful brethren, if we stick closely with our God, don’t complain too much through the rough times and keep doing His will, He will eventually bring us out much better on the other side. 

And don’t think that I’m just talking for talk sake, because right now I am going through the biggest test of faith in my life with a host of medical problems. So I am also in the process of learning to wait patiently on the Lord and to persevere with a good attitude while waiting with hope and joy for my eventual breakthrough. 

And now, as true Christian soldiers, let’s go home proudly declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Wow friends! Believe me, our God is a great and good and ever-faithful God, please put your total trust in Him. It will be the best decision you ever make! Much Love!

…belief…surrender…trust… patience…and a topping of LOVE…the Christian’s way to glory…

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but I like it. (smile) Much LOVE!