Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2013 Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14.   Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 
Aye mih Friends, these days are going by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, to stay level with them! Look, just yesterday was Monday, now it’s already Tuesday today! (smile)
 
The days truly seem to be hurtling by faster and faster. But don’t worry my people, because if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you have it covered on all fronts: we have the Holy Spirit here on earth to lead and guide us aright, and when the final trump sounds, Jesus will come and take us home with Him.
 
Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And all God’s people gave a mighty and joyful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all knees shall bow, and all tongues shall gratefully confess and acknowledge that He is Lord of all!’ 
 
But unfortunately, despite all the coverage, I know that many believers are still struggling, are still oppressed and fearful, especially when we see the wicked prospering. However my brethren, though it’s hard, we cannot afford to look too closely at what others are doing to progress in this evil, ungodly world. We have to stay fully attuned to Almighty God and His dictates.
 
That’s why Bruh David in this explosive and illuminating psalm, superscripted, ‘the Lord is my light and my salvation, ends it with the wise, encouraging and confidence building words of Today’s Bit: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’
 
Please note Friends, Bruh David tells us to do two things, and a third will result. First we have to wait on the Lord, and that means waiting with strong, solid faith, not a wishy-washy kind of waiting, but a conscious and purposeful anticipation and expectation.
 
For as Hebrews 11 tells us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) For if we can see something, there’s no reason to yet hope for or have faith or expect it to come to pass.
 
And then he tells us to be of good courage. Hn! Now what does that much used and maligned word mean eh? Here’s a definition from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) which some of you might have seen on His programme In Touch some weeks ago. He defines COURAGE as: ‘The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, opposition or the challenges of life with fearlessness, firmness and calmness.’
 
And that’s as good a definition as we’ll ever get my brethren! Courage is truly the ability to stand strong when everything seems to be falling down around us. It helps us stay calm, rational and focused.
 
Now that doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid, but like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Do it afraid.’ And that’s possible because the faith in God that Bruh David talks about will strengthen and enable us to stand up to whatever difficult or fearful situation that comes against us.
 
And my brethren, in times of fear and trouble, please remember this awesome promise of our omnipotent and ever-faithful God: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17)
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! It’s a promise we can stand upon without fear of contradiction or recantation!
 
Oh my fellow believers in Christ, our God has been encouraging His people to be strong and courageous ever since time began. Listen to what Moses told the twelve spies that were sent into the Promised Land to reconnoitre it.
 
‘And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean (fertile or barren), whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.’ (Num.13:20)
 
Yeh mih breddren, whatever we do, we need to do with faith and courage, for this wicked world doesn’t take kindly to weakness. Yuh see how it takes unnecessary advantage of the poor, the sick and needy? It has no mercy whatsoever on those who are not at least internally strong.
 
And the only way to get that internal strength is through faith in Almighty God! Yes Friends, that strength and courage we need are acquired attributes. We have to consciously go after them with much diligence and perseverance.
 
And having said all of that this Tuesday morning, now let’s actively seek the face of our great and wonderful God, before we go out to face the enemy hordes, asking Him for that enabling strength and courage that comes to all who wait in patient faith on Him. That’s our prayer for this morning my brethren.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud, faithful and purposeful, ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name! Amen!’ and again we say, ‘Amen!’
 
Much much LOVE my fellow believers in Christ Jesus!
 
…only as believers stand and wait on the Lord…in patient faith…shall He strengthen them…  
 
P.S. Even though the Bit’s a tad late, there’s no reason to complain about its length today. It’s pretty short. Even I was amazed. (smile) Much LOVE!