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 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28:   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Sunday morning coming down, heading for the house of God, with hearts a flutter, souls and bodies flushed with excitement to hear His holy word, sing praises unto Him, and thank Him for the gift of fellowship amongst believers. What can be better than that eh friends? Nothing really! For sincerely worshipping God in company with other believers is one of the greatest experiences a Christian can attain on this earth! 

You really can’t put it into words, you have to be there to see and experience it for yourself.  So let’s have joyous fellowship this morning nuh, beginning with some praise and worship, through a hymn written in 1880 by Will Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909). And it’s one we all know and LOVE! 

And according to Wikipedia, Evangelist Dwight L Moody liked it so much, that once when he was in the hospital and Thompson came to visit him, he declared: ‘Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.” Now that was truly praise for the song, because Moody did do a lot of good and godly things in his life. 

But nuff talk now, the Father and the whole host of heaven are waiting to hear our song of praise and thanksgiving. So let’s get soulful and trill it up in rich, harmonious voice and sincere hearts, causing tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of those up there. ‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. 

(Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home!) Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, mercies for you and for me? (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) 

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me; shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home…O sinner, come home!) O for the wonderful LOVE He has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. (Refrain: Come home, come home; you who are weary come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, O sinner, come home…come on home!)’ 

Yes friends, we certainly stirred up the emotions this morning with a wonderful, soulful rendition of that marvellous hymn! Brother, the words are so realistic – I never really paid them that much attention before, but they do tell the story of Jesus and our sinful souls in living colour! 

And He’s just standing at the door waiting for us to come home to Him, like how the Father had an eye out for the Prodigal Son and ran and met him as soon as he came into sight. Hugging and kissing him, and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Yes mih breddren, that’s how Jesus is anxiously waiting to greet us! 

And yuh know most of us are weary and tired with this evil old world, so why are we tarrying and lingering when Jesus is calling us to come home eh? Let’s wisely heed His mercies, His promises, His pardon nuh for all the sins we’ve committed. There’s no better solution to our dark and damnable situation than that! And time’s flying by, not waiting on us, shadows are gathering and deathbeds are in the offing, so why not accept Jesus’ wonderful offer to come home to Him eh? No good reason whatsoever! 

And friends, I don’t know what scripture Johnson used to write that hymn, but believe me, I don’t think there’s a better and more appropriate passage in the Good Book than the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matt.11:28-30) 

Yeh friends, if you don’t know anything else about Jesus, that passage of scripture ought to have you looking towards Him for some answers to your sorrowful situation. How can you not consider it eh? No other supposed deity is so earnestly and tenderly calling you to come into their fold like Jesus is doing. All the other supposed deities want a whole lot of stuff from you, but all Jesus wants is your LOVE and your belief in Him. Yuh better believe He won’t have to ask me twice! (smile) 

So friends, what’s stopping you from coming to Jesus eh? Whatever it is, please don’t let it, because it’s not worth passing up Jesus’ invitation! Nothing on the face of this earth is worth that! Remember, the earth and all therein will pass away at some time or the other, in the Father’s time, but the LOVE and mercy and pardon and forgiveness enshrined in Jesus, which leads to eternal life will NEVER pass away! 

That’s gospel, gospel truth! It’s better than having plenty money in the bank or plenty material possessions, because those will rot and be destroyed over time, but faith and trust and belief in Jesus will last for eternity. So please, please, I implore you, come to Him today nuh; relieve yourself of your heavy burden and get some fruitful rest. 

Jesus is simple, but powerful, and also kind, LOVING and gentle! There’s so much you can learn from Him. And as He says, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. That means you will not be asked to bare any heavy loads or toil till you’re totally exhausted. 

And John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) And if anybody should know about Jesus’ commandments, it would be John, who spent so much time with Him and wrote so much of the New Testament. So don’t take my word for it, take John’s! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is listening to Jesus…and doing as He asks…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush…Here we go round the mulberry bush on a Sunday morning!’ Oh friends, I could not resist the temptation to begin today’s message with that bit of frivolity, once it came into my mind. 

The truth though is that we’re not going round any bush, but we’re on our way to the Lord’s sanctuary this Sunday morning to fellowship with each other, to give praise and thanks for our many blessings and mercies, to hear the Lord’s word and receive His strength and confidence to go out and face the enemy with courage in the upcoming week. 

Wow! What a majestic morning it’s shaping up to be! And yuh know what? Only the believers in Jesus Christ can attest to such a wonderful situation in their lives! That’s why I keep reminding us of the amazing and awesome God we serve! And that’s why I chose this most appropriate hymn, ‘How Great Thou Art’ to open our time of praise and worship.  It was written in the early 20th century by a Swedish writer, Carl Gustav Boberg and translated into English by missionary Stuart K Hine in mid-century.  

So let’s offer up with truthful lips and sincere hearts a genuine sacrifice of praise today, letting our heavenly Father know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In loud voice and beautiful harmony now: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)  

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ 

And isn’t that the God awesome truth my brethren! No wonder that hymn has been recognized by several polls over the years as the number one hymn in America. Our God is indeed the GREATEST! Please never forget that! And neither is it a new idea, because Cousin Sol stated it quite plainly many many moons ago in our Bit. ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’  

Yes friends, that was the unequivocal message he conveyed to Huram, king of Tyre, when asking him to sell him lumber and whatever else he needed to build the Lord’s temple. And I like the verse after our Bit. ‘But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?’ (2 Chr.2:6) 

Ah mih people, our God doesn’t really need a house to live in, because He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, and as Cousin Sol says, even the great heavens can’t contain Him. The houses we build for God are basically for us to get together to worship Him.  And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord:  let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (Ps. 95:1-7)   

Oh friends, those are words of unalterable truth! The Lord God of Hosts is our God; consequently we need to pay Him homage, to exalt His glorious name to all the world. And that is exactly what we are trying to do today, on this His special day, with all the praise and thanksgiving, the honour and the glory, the sincere and heartfelt emotions of LOVE and immense gratitude we’re sending up to heaven on high, as we gather in His sanctuary. 

However friends, let’s be careful now, that our motives are right and our hearts are clean, because God can see right through us, and if we’re being hypocritical, then He’ll just ignore us, despite all our good sounding rhetoric. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…He is the One and Only True Living God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2013 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 great calm.

Oh Friends, is Sunday morning, and all the hoopla about the Caribana Parade finish now! Thank the Lord! I don’t think any serious negative incidents occurred, for the duchess didn’t mention any. She just said that the bands didn’t start coming down the boulevard until around 4 p.m.
 
Now it’s been bad over the years, in terms of the bands heading out on the parade route, but I’ve never seen or heard it that bad. And it’s somewhat amusing now, because when the old Caribana group, which consisted mainly of immigrant West Indians, ran the show, the lateness of all the events was blamed on their West Indian mentality for not respecting time in a professional manner.
 
But it’s an entirely new set up now, with new and supposedly more time conscious people. So who or what is to blame for such a late start eh? (smile) Anyway, I won’t get into it, because I really don’t know what’s happening, and Caribana and all that it entails is just too confusing and controversial for my small mind to handle.
 
So this Sunday morning I’ll just stick with my Bit, which I do know a little about. (smile) ‘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 great calm.’ 
 
Oh my brethren, fear is so rampant in all walks of life in our evil and godless society, that it’s not funny. Whether it’s fear of terrorism, the downturn of the economy, losing one’s job, one’s home, of physical attacks out on the streets in broad daylight, and even home invasions now, attacks right in your castle, fear is one of the common denominators of modern-day life.
 
But technically speaking, so much fear should not exist, because our society has achieved such a high level of technological innovation, with so much surveillance and supposed safety measures. But sadly, those same technological advances are cowing us for Big Brother is using them to scare us and enact controversial laws that deprive us of our privacy and other freedoms.
 
However Friends, true believers don’t need to be that worried. Yes, physical stuff happens to us, our privacy and privileges can be curtailed, or even taken away, but with Jesus Christ as our mind and body guard, we can still stand strong regardless of what comes against us. That’s because we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil.4:13)
 
Unfortunately though, that takes a fairly high level of faith, which seems to be sadly lacking in many Christians, for far too many of us are getting frantic and panicking as the world situation deteriorates. Now we do have to be concerned, but we don’t have to turn ourselves and our situations upside down.
 
Remember yesterday we quoted these words of Jesus: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b). Well Friends, that is a staple bit of scripture that we all should learn, believe and hold tightly to, otherwise all the negative happenings in the world today will just confuse, confuffle and eventually drive us crazy. It will only raise fear in our souls, rather than the powerful energizer, faith.
 
Remember we also said yesterday that the level of our faith will determine the level of our fear, and asked us to read Hebrews chapter 11, the chapter dedicated to faith and its rewards. I hope we all did, because it’s for our individual benefit and no one else’s. And if we did read it, we saw the numerous people who operated on faith in Almighty God, even though their individual circumstances cried out for fear.
 
Look at Abraham nuh. Imagine in his seventies, rich as ever, not wanting for anything material, the Lord told him to pack up and move away from his family. And though he didn’t know where the Lord was sending him, he obeyed God, and that was credited to Abraham for righteousness.
 
Today Friends, we have many more options and stuff than any of those people mentioned in the Good Book had, but our faith seems to be at a much lower level. Why? I really don’t know. Maybe life’s just become too easy and we take too many things for granted, like heat, light and water. And since we’re not accustomed to doing without the basic amenities, when something happens to any of them, we get all jittery and fearful.
 
And a good example of that loss of basic functions is when the Internet goes down. Wow! Our whole world stops and everybody gets jittery. That’s because too much of our lives now depend on computers and all the communication devices that are currently in use. Five or ten years ago, many fewer people would have been affected by such a breakdown, but unfortunately every day we’re becoming more and more linked to, and thus more affected by the technological revolution.
 
In many respects it’s a good thing, but there are also some serious drawbacks, as it’s also prone to criminal and fraudulent activities. And remember that anything a man builds, another man can break into or destroy. Man-made safe guards don’t always do the trick. Just look at all the successful hacker activities that are now taking place.
 
Oh my people, we have to use all this new-fangled stuff as mere tools, and stop allowing them to run and control our lives. In other words, stop bowing down to them, because we are certainly using them as idols, and they are taking away from our time with God.
 
Now do you think He appreciates that? No Way! Remember His first commandment is that we should have no other Gods before Him, and we should not bow to any graven images or idols.
 
Unfortunately though, in this crazy, confused world, there are all sorts of idols to worship, and unless we have a strong relationship with Jehovah God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we will easily get scared and afraid of stuff that’s not supposed to intimidate us.
 
Oh Friends, I implore us this Sunday morning to keep looking to our wonderful, omnipotent and magnanimous God for strength and courage to face the vicissitudes of this life. That’s because only in Him, His Word and His Son Jesus Christ can true strength be found through positive faith.
 
And that’s wisdom of the eternal kind! Much LOVE!
 
…courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear…but more the abundance of faith…