Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2015 Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10.     For we are his workmanship (creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared)  that we should walk in them.

Greetings and salutations my people, in the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this blessed but damp and foggy Sunday morning! All power and glory be to the One who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us disgusting sinners.
 
And to show our grateful appreciation of that wonderful token of LOVE, let’s gather together in His sanctuary on this Sabbath Day, as He desires, to praise and worship Him, give Him the thanks that He so rightfully deserves, and in return receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, so that our spirits can be renewed, our faith strengthened, and our actions positive and LOVE-filled!

And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let us do that, for it is meet and right so to do! 

And now, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin, here is ‘Something Beautiful!’  ‘Here I am dear God  Your Child  A member of Your Family  Asking You  To make something beautiful of my life. Yet, even as I ask I am convinced  That the one beautiful thing  About a child of God  Is You, Jesus Christ. So, dear Lord  As You saturate me with Yourself  My life will be beautiful.’

And isn’t that the living truth Friends! There’s nothing as beautiful as a human being saturated with Jesus Christ! That inner beauty and LOVE of a true child of God just shines through the darkness of this world, knives through it like a big, bright spotlight closely focused on a performer on a stage! Oh my brethren, there’s no better state for us to be in, than to be filled with the beauty and joy of Jesus Christ! For we become new creations, old, evil ways are forgotten, and we look to the future with hope and faith. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is our Bit today; fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ Friends, that’s truth to the nth degree!

And here are some explanations from the scholars to enlighten us. ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. (vs.8-9) Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves.

Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works,” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. The apostle’s thinking is this; since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’

And I’ll be my usual nice self (smile) and quote the two verses we mentioned above, re good works having no part in salvation. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.28-9)

Yes Friends, part of the reason why salvation is not achieved by good works is so that men can’t boast about obtaining it on their own strength or merit. Remember, it is a free gift of God!

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that reflect the theme of our Bit. Hear the palmist declare from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.’ (Ps.100:3-4)

Oh my people, if we’d only follow that wise advice of the psalmist, our lives and our world would be a much better place than it currently is!

Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks about the redemption of Israel. ‘But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify (hallow) my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.’ (Is.29:23)

Without a doubt Friends, we are God’s handiwork, His greatest creation! Glory Hallelujah!

Another psalmist joyfully proclaims: ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:73) Words of awesome truth my brethren! And we’ll end with Bruh David’s version from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’

My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as not there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:13-16)

Yes Friends, Jehovah God was the planner, designer, architect and builder of every human being that was ever made. Therefore He knows all about us. We are definitely His, for He is our Creator, our Provider and our God. Without Him, we would not exist. Please, let’s remember that and give Him the appropriate level of praise, worship and thanks He deserves. That’s the duty of a sincere child of God. Much LOVE!

…without the Most High God Jehovah…nothing that was made…would be made…