Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (don’t know what to do)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

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 5 August 2015 John 14:6

John 14:6.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Oh Friends, I don’t understand it nuh; it’s a mystery that I can go to bed feeling fairly okay and wake up a few hours later experiencing serious pain in places that weren’t paining before I went to bed. Hn! I thought rest and sleep were supposed to calm those things, not heighten them.

Chuh! I woke up a little while ago with my right knee giving me beans, and that hasn’t been hurting me, it’s the left one that’s recently been problematic. So there I was subsequently, hobbling around like the old man I refuse to be, trying to put out the garbage and chuckling somewhat unhappily to my self.

But yuh know what, it’s a conspiracy! Yes Arthur (arthritis), the minion of the evil one, is desperately trying to humble me before his wicked master. But please tell Arthur for me that that will NEVER happen!

Not as long as our great God sits on His throne in heaven on high, which He will do forever, neither as long as our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus stands by His side advocating on my behalf, or as long as the Holy Spirit dwells within me! 

No Friends Lucifer will never get his evil hooks into me, or wrap his mushy tentacles around me, once the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are in control of things. And to bring that even more forcibly home to Mr. Arthur and his evil boss, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, which is most appropriate in this situation.

Please wail with me people: ‘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!’

Oh yes my people, if we want to make it successfully through this wicked and ungodly world we have to constantly keep our focus on Jesus! There is no other way! Remember His promise of salvation in our Bit ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh to the Father but by me.’ And He is also the LIGHT of this evil and darkened world.

And I like how the scholars put it, re our Bit. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He is the way!’

And that’s an awesome truth that ALL believers need to acknowledge, to write indelibly in their hearts, souls and minds if they want to have a successful journey with Him. Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the Lamb that was slain for us, whose precious blood was spilled at Calvary’s cross so that we could gain atonement from our abominable sins!

Yes my brethren, Jesus is indeed THE GREATEST! The ONE and ONLY Superstar! All our hopes and dreams begin and end with Him. As the author of Hebrews so wisely reminds us; He is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb.12:2)

Or as the scholars put it. ‘He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ So we don’t have to do any more trail-blazing, just follow the straight and narrow path that He has laid out for us, all the way to salvation and eternal life with Him and the Father. There’s absolutely nothing better than that in this confused and troubled world!

Now listen to these encouraging and uplifting words from the author of Hebrews, where he issues a plea to the early believers to hold on to their new faith. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say the flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching’ (Heb.10:19-25)

Oh Friends, that same plea is crying out to us today, in these dark and dismal times! Jesus is the ONLY WAY to overcome them!

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars re those verses: ’10:20. Jesus Christ is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God (cf. 4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those references my people, as they will certainly help to enlighten us in the scriptures.

’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39). The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it take much more to stir up another to LOVE and to good works.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends, it’s much easier to stir up strife than LOVE, especially in these godless times!

‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is the outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’

And I say a loud and proud ‘Amen’ to that! There we have it Friends, the reason for going to church, for Christians assembling together in the name of Jesus Christ!

Now let’s go out today, and every day, and work diligently, sincerely and faithfully on behalf of our Lord and Saviour nuh, for that is the ultimate wisdom of this life. Much LOVE!

…following the path that Jesus blazed…and doing His will…brings the greatest joy and eventual richest reward…spending eternity with Him…

P.S. Oh Friends, I know it’s long and late, but that’s all made up for in its wonderful information and its intrinsic beauty! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!