Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2021 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

It’s that time again my brethren, Sunday morning, where we gather to worship our wonderful God, to sing His praises, hear His refreshing and enlightening Word, and give Him much thanks for His awesome LOVE and compassion towards us, His most undeserving children. But that’s the kind of God we serve and worship. And today’s opening song is a not so old hymn, (smile) as compared to some others we sing, written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006), in the early years of his ministry, and aptly titled ‘No One understands like Jesus.’ 

And believe me friends, that’s the indisputable truth! And why shouldn’t it be true eh, since He is God whose thoughts and understanding are incomparable, and when you add the fact that Jesus Himself underwent all the stuff that we go through down here on earth, it certainly adds up to a wealth of understanding. That’s why Hebrews can tell us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (who cannot sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:15-16) 

Anyway, enough talk, time to do some singing. And in our usual harmonious and soulful manner let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise to heaven and our marvellous Godhead. ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

You can say that again my people: ‘No one understands like Jesus!’ (smile) And there seems to be an interesting and heart-felt story behind the writing of this song, as there usually are behind many of our favourite tunes. Mr. Peterson appears to have been quite involved in Christian music and tells the story thus: ‘”At one time I had a responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  

There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. 

Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). 

And Peter, who witnessed the perfidy of Judas, echoed his words: “Casting all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares [is deeply concerned] for you” (I Pet. 5:7). Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? He does!’ 

Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does care deeply about us, else why would He leave the joys and comforts of heaven and come to earth in human flesh to suffer the humiliation and abuse He did eh? These awesome words of His speak plainly of caring. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (Jon 3:16) There was no reason for the Father to do that, except that His LOVE and compassion for us was so great, He couldn’t just allow us to lose our souls and end up in Hades with Beelzebub. 

So Jesus’ coming to earth was all about caring. And the Good Book tells us in so many instances of God’s care and concern for us. Let’s check out a few nuh. Mr. Peterson mentioned a couple. The first one being the words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – where he declares in no uncertain manner: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) and if you are a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it’s imperative that you believe those words! 

Then there was Peter, who experienced Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, as well as his own, when he thrice denied knowing Christ, having been forewarned by Christ that he would do it. And when the cock crowed and Jesus looked around at Peter, he must have wished the earth could open up and swallow him, the shame he felt. (Luke 22:55-62) But the Lord not only forgave Peter, but also encouraged him, ‘Feed my sheep.’  (John 21:15-19) And Peter rose to be one of the leaders of the church. 

All of that caring and compassion of Jesus, must have compelled him to write: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Peter experienced it, so he could testify to it. Likewise, many of us have also experienced the Lord’s care and compassion in our normal everyday lives, but you know what, in these turbulent and dangerous times we need to seek His care and compassion even more than usual, since the world is in such turmoil. 

And Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – has a couple of interesting verses that we should all take hold of. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:5, 23-24) 

Oh my fellow believers there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus cares for us. How else can you interpret these words of His: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) My fellow saints, please ponder those words today, and see if they don’t add up to a tender and heartfelt caring on the part of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…no one understands…or cares…like Jesus… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2015 Revelation 1:3‏‏

Revelation 1:3.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

‘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 banners go! Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before.’ 

Oh Yes Friends, we are indeed soldiers of Christ, marching in to war with the enemy in this ungodly civilization in which we now live. And our banner is the mighty cross of Christ! Let us never forget that, for the cross is the difference between life and death for believers. 

It is where Jesus sacrificed Himself to pay for our sins, and it is to it that we owe all that we are as Christians. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross brought God’s gift of salvation and eternal life to sinful man. 

Therefore let us rise up and faithfully fight the battles in which we are engaged on Christ’s behalf. We cannot just sit idly by and allow life to roll over us, we have to take it by the horns and make it bow to us. 

For as one Peter Marshall supposedly said: ‘Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make things happen.’ 

Now that is quite true my people, but we have to take that with some advisement; namely making sure that what we are doing is God’s will, and also His timing. For if we get out of His will and timing, we will just make an unholy mess of things. 

And the best way to ensure that we are in God’s will and timing is by following the wise advice of our Bit. ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ 

Yes my people, God gave us His Holy Word, the Bible as a guidebook for our earthly living, so that we can always be in sync with Him. But to know when we are in or out of sync with the Lord, we have to read and meditate on His Word, and then follow its dictates. Otherwise we’ll just be like lost sheep without a shepherd, liable to go seriously astray in this evil and contentious world. 

I’m sure that when you go on vacation, or anywhere new, and you’re given material describing your surroundings and what happens there, you look at it carefully so you can understand the ramifications of your actions. 

Well the Bible falls into the same category; it explains what will and will not happen in your life, according to the decisions you make. Glory to God for showing us the way! 

Now let’s check out some scripture that corroborates the contentions of our Bit, beginning with the words of Jesus. One day, while Jesus was teaching, the Good Book says: ‘Then came to him his mother and his brethren (brothers), and could not come at him for the press (the crowd). 

And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without (outside), desiring to see thee. And he answered and said, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.’ (Luke 8:19-21)  

Oh friends, I know that sounds somewhat harsh, especially from Jesus, but He is just trying to show that though family ties are important, covenant ties with God are much more important. As the scholars say: ‘Mutual obedience to God comprises a tie that binds more closely than mere bloodlines.’ 

Now here is Mark’s version of the same situation. ‘And he answered them saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren (brothers)? And he looked round about on them which sat about him (in a circle), and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’ (Mark:3:33-35) 

So Friends, we can clearly see that doing the will of God is our most important goal and action on this earth, because our Lord and Saviour said so! 

Now listen to these words from Psalm 112, which support all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth (stands) forever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.’ (Ps.112:1-4) 

Oh my people, yuh see what happens when we read, meditate on and obey God’s Word! Our lives are blessed! Glory Hallelujah! 

That brings us to the words of Bruh David in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – where he boldly proclaims: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more.’ ( Ps.37:23-27) 

And what better note to end on my brethren! So as we go about our business today, let us take Bruh David’s wise advice nuh; let us depart from evil, and do good, so that we can live forever. Much LOVE!

…like children obey their earthly fathers…so too should God’s children…obey their heavenly Father…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2015 Psalm 55:22‏

Psalm 55:22.   Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

Well Friends, that long awaited day, Friday, is finally here! And most of us are already shouting ‘Glory to God! TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here, especially this one; this Thanksgiving weekend! Brother! The partying and giving of thanks will be memorable! Thank You again God that it’s Friday!’ 

Ah Friends, what can I say eh? Not much really. This is indeed the weekend we in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We do it in October, unlike the Americans, who do it in November. And I have a little secret to share with you. I begun my celebrations yesterday, because it was the duchess’ birthday… 

And don’t even venture to ask how old she is! (smile) Remember a lady doesn’t tell her age, just like she doesn’t kiss and tell. Oh I can just feel the fire and brimstone ready to fall on I, if I ever divulge that bit of information! (smile) But I’m a tad smarter than that. Anyway, the celebration wasn’t anything big, just a small family gathering, so there was no need to go overboard. 

Now, I would be rather amiss if I did not remind us of Granny’s ever so important warning at times like these. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Oh Friends, I know that it can be a bit of a drag, but it’s a good drag, reminding us not to get ourselves involved in any thing ungodly, or anything that will give the deceitful Lucifer even a toehold in our affairs. And that’s quite easy to do when we let our hair down and behave like we don’t have a care in the world. 

Anyway, as usual, to give us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with a serious sense of purpose nuh. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

That’s more like it my people! As Jeeves would say, just a modicum of circumspection. And since we can’t ever hope to avoid or resist the tempter on our own, we need to do as our Bit so wisely advises us. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Remember yesterday, we saw what Bruh David had to say about the situation in Psalm 37; Fret not thyself over evildoers, but Trust in the Lord…Delight thyself in Him…Commit thy way to Him…Rest in Him…  

Yes my people, when we do those things we will come up over the enemy EVERY time! 

Later on in the Psalm he also made this confident proclamation: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever (always) merciful, and lendeth; and his seed (descendants) is blessed.’ (Ps. 37:23-26) 

And Bruh David should know whereof he speaks, because he rose from humble beginnings to be Israel’s most powerful king, not in his own strength, but in the Lord’s! Likewise my brethren, we can also rise from humble beginnings to great heights in God’s realm if we accept His Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and faithfully follow His commandments. 

Now listen to Cousin Sol’s take on the subject from Proverbs. ‘Lay not wait (do not lie in wait), O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil (assault) not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:15-16) 

Sure words of wisdom from Cousin Sol my brethren! Regardless of how many times the righteous falls, the Lord will always pick him back up again! What a wonderful promise! 

And we’ll end with these wise words from Peter. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) More words of truth and wisdom my people! 

And here’s a li’l something extra from Peter, that’s especially appropriate for this Thanksgiving weekend. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen’ (1 Pet.5:8-11) 

That’s Granny’s warning in the long form! (smile) Now Friends, let’s go out and put all that we’ve learned today into action nuh, so that we can all be assessed as the righteous seed of God, for in that there is abundant wisdom! Much LOVE!

…on whom would it make the most sense…to lay all our cares and concerns on… than on the Creator of this universe…the omnipotent Jehovah God…who controls the world…and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…who died to pay for our sins…