Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2015 Psalm 22:19

Psalm 22:19.   But be not thou far from me O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 

Oh Friends, it’s a mea culpa kind of morning! I went to bed real late this morning, and got up much later than I expected or wanted to. I guess the good Lord in His everlasting wisdom decided I just needed the rest, or He simply left me to my own devices, and we see how that panned out. (smile) 

Anyway today is an historic day in the annals of Canadian history! Yes mih people, the winds of change have blown across this country in a most remarkable way. We now have a new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and a new governing party, the Liberals, after yesterday’s Federal Elections. 

The Conservative Government under Stephen Harper, which has mismanaged the country for almost a decade, got their most deserving walking papers. Glory to God! 

Let’s hope now that the micro-management, the secrecy, the draconian laws which have brought us to the reality of a police state, the widespread corruption and the nonchalance towards the ordinary working man, in favour of the rich and famous will now stop, or at least be substantially reduced. 

And would you believe that yesterday a wicked windstorm blew across my area all day, possibly heralding the significant change in government. Let’s hope too that the big knock against Trudeau, his youth, merely thirty something, doesn’t affect his governing. At least he doesn’t seem to be as arrogant as His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who ran the country from 1968-1979, and 1980-84. 

Notwithstanding that though, Pierre Elliot was possibly the most popular Prime Minster in our history. Let’s hope though that Justin does have the wisdom, the belly and backbone that his father had, and a true penchant for improving the entire country, not just the rich and famous. 

Anyway, enough politics for today. I’m not a political animal, but I do take some interest in the goings ons around me. (smile) And since today is Tuesday, a wet and cloudy day in my area, we need to declare our Tuesday mantra. Or as the person who wrote it, Bobby Schuller, Gramps Schuller’s grandson, likes to call it, the Creed of the Beloved. 

So all together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And that’s exactly how we have to view this life my brethren! The most important aspect of our lives is that we are the children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s what defines us, nothing else! 

And I just could not pass up this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Caulkin, as it is very reflective of our behaviour. It’s titled: ‘Could You Hurry a Little.’ 

And it says: ‘Lord, I know there are countless times When I must wait patiently for You. Waiting develops endurance. It strengthens my faith And deepens my dependence on You. I know You are a Sovereign God – Not an errand boy Responding to the snap of my finger. I know Your timing is neatly wrapped In Your incomparable wisdom. 

But, Lord You have appointed prayer To obtain answers! Even David the Psalmist cried With confident boldness: “It is time, O Lord, for you to act.” God, on this silent sunless morning When I am hedged in on every side I too cry boldly. You are my Father, and I am Your child. So, Lord, could You hurry a little?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I’m sure that many of us have prayed that kind of prayer many a time! And nothing’s really wrong with it, except that too many of us tend to treat the Lord our Mighty God as an errand boy. 

Yes Friends, we often don’t remember Him until there is a problem in our life, then we cry out to Him and expect Him to run and fix it. But that’s a totally false image and manner of dealing with Almighty God. 

Please remember that He is the Master and we are His humble servants. We are here to do His bidding, not the other way around. And though we are entitled to cry out to Him for help, we also are required to wait patiently on His timing, which is NEVER wrong or late. 

And the promise on which that poem was based, is also our Bit for today. ‘But be not thou far from me O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.’ 

Yes Friends, that was Bruh David crying out for the Lord’s help in one of his many times of trouble. And as I said before, we are also entitled to cry out to our heavenly Father for help. We just need to live obediently to His will during the remainder of the time, if we truly expect Him to help us when adversity rears its ugly head. 

We simply cannot live the way we want to, enmeshed in the affairs of this wicked and godless world, then when times get tough, run to Him and expect immediate succour. 

And we’ll end today with the remainder of Bruh David’s cry for help. ‘Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling (precious life) from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns (and from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered me). 

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed (descendants) of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him (hold him in awesome reverence), all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.’ (Ps.22:20-24) 

Yes my people, that’s the awesome promise of our ever-LOVING God: when we consistently live for and praise Him in our daily lives, then we are entitled to cry out to Him for help in times of trouble. And as Bruh David so rightly says, He never turns away from the afflicted, but hears him. Now that’s a promise we can stand steadfast on! Much LOVE!

…for a true believer…cries of anguish…should always be interspersed with songs of praise…