Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.     Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Well faithful soldiers and saints of Christ, that big day, the day of the Lord is here again, calling us to praise and worship in whatever way we can. And this Sunday is Thanksgiving weekend here in luverly Canada, so there is no better time than this to ramp up our thanks and praise to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, who has done so much for us, a bunch of poor, pathetic, undeserving sinners. 

And also, there’s no better song to sing today than this one which talks about our greatest gift from God; forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That precious fountain of blood which flowed from Immanuel’s veins and paid for our awful debt of sin, for evermore. And the official name of the hymn was ‘Praise for the Fountain opened.’ But now it’s generally known by its first line. ‘There is a Fountain filled with blood.’ It’s based on the Old Testament verse from Zechariah 13:1, re the cleansing of Jerusalem. ‘In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.’ 

But before we get into this beautiful old hymn, let’s get a li’l background on it and its writer, William Cowper, an English poet of great renown. (1731-1800) Born to an English clergyman father, physically frail and emotionally unstable, which the death of his mother at six further complicated. He studied law, but when called to the bar he experienced a panic attack which led to a mental breakdown and attempted suicide. That consequently led to a stay in a mental asylum. 

It’s claimed that during that time, while reading the Bible, he came across Romans 3:25 that Jesus Christ is “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” And through reading of the Scriptures, Cowper realized his need for a Savior and the need for forgiveness of sins. Consequently, in 1764, at the age of thirty-three, he dedicated his life to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Bouts of depression, melancholia and attempted suicide apparently peppered his life, but they say that ironically some of his best hymns were written during those times. And wonder of wonders, whom do you think he linked up with later in life – the one and only John Newton, the slaver turned Anglican Pastor, and writer of ‘Amazing Grace.’ And they teamed up over the years to write ‘The Olney Hymns’ Hymnal, (349 hymns) named after the town where Cowper and Newton were then living. 

Just more amazing instances of the Lord’s mysterious movements in getting His work done, through rather unlikely people. That’s why the Good Book says: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound (put to shame) the things which are mighty.’ (1 Cor. 1:27) 

So let’s get to it now nuh: in full, soulful and sincere voice, in a slightly rocking tempo, like the live worship video done by the band, Shane and Shane, let’s offer up our sacrificial praise. No dirge like music this Thanksgiving weekend, especially for such a wonderful gift from our Creator. 

‘There is a fountain filled with blood Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains: Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away: Wash all my sins away, Wash all my sins away; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r, Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved, to sin no more: Be saved, to sin no more, Be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved to sin no more. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die: And shall be till I die, And shall be till I die; Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die. 

When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue Lies silent in the grave, Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save: I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save, I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save; Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save….I’ll sing thy pow’r to save…’ 

Oh my people, what truthful and most magnificent sentiments! The precious shed blood of Christ is the greatest thing in this world, because it is the only thing that can take away our sins, when, like the thief who died on that fateful day with Christ, we come to the cross and let that crimson blood cleanse us white as snow! Mama Mia! No other faith can match the power of Jesus, because He is the Son of the One True God Jehovah! 

And interestingly enough there’s a book titled ‘Immanuel’s Veins,’ by Ted Dekker. The author apparently says that Christ bled on the cross for us…’For the heart of man.’ And talking about ‘Immanuel, God with us – that he would leave the spiritual realm and be present in flesh and blood in such an act of humility is a staggering notion.’ And it surely is! ‘He willingly gave His blood, in the flesh, so that others might find life, for it is written: “He did not come by water only, but by blood” (1 John 5:6), and ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.’ (Hebrews 9:22). 

This why blood is required for us to have life. And He didn’t give ‘just enough to satisfy the requirement, to fulfill a covenant or agreement? No. He gave it all. He gave His life. For us. Because He LOVED us.’ Yes friends, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life because He LOVED us. As Isaiah tells it: ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is. 53:5-6) 

And He did it all for LOVE, my brethren! That just goes to show the awesome power of LOVE! And I guess it’s appropriate here to quote the most important verse in the Good Book; the raison d’etre for it all: ‘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.’ (John 3:16) And that’s why Jesus said the greatest commandment is to LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, body and soul, and the second is to LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:37-39) 

Consequently, if we don’t have LOVE, and show LOVE, then we are not true followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…from the creation…to the revelation…it’s all about LOVE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2012 James 5:13

James 5:13.     Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Oh Friends, here it comes; another brand new day, filled with some wonderful old stuff like God’s great, unconditional LOVE for us, but also with lots of new things, like His new mercies and blessings. Let us therefore rejoice and be thankful in and for this day! And all God’s people raised a loud and joyous shout to heaven: ‘Oh praise and thank the Lord for His never-ending goodness to the children of men! We will faithfully serve and worship You forever Lord! Amen!’ Yes Friends, it’s only a sense of wisdom to be thankful for and celebrate each new day, since we never know what the Lord’s planned for us. He might remove some of the negatives, give us positives, or any combination thereof. But we know for sure that He’s working all things out for our good, as He’s promised in Romans 8:28. However, along with all that, we have a divine responsibility to look after what He’s given us, including our health. And this is one of those times I have to chuckle because the Lord moved in one of His usual mysterious ways yesterday evening while I was reading a Devotional. The quote at the top of the day was interesting and got me thinking about the topic of health. And right then and there I stopped reading the Devotional, got out pen and paper and began writing this. Hn, hn! What an interesting, amazing and unmatchable God we serve Friends! He never ceases to amaze me in how He works! Anyway, the quote comes from one Leon Eldred, and it says: ‘If I had known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.’ And isn’t that a fact to which we can all attest my brethren? However, I’m here to tell us today that it’s not too late to begin taking better care of our health, like simply eating better, wiser, getting proper rest, and exercising a little more. It doesn’t take much out of us, just pay more attention to what we put in the Lord’s temple, our mortal bodies, and how we use, not abuse it. Obviously we won’t get healthy overnight if we’ve allowed ourselves to go to waste for sometime. But as Cousin Confucius (smile) says: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step. And once you’ve taken that first step, you’re halfway home!’ That’s gospel Friends! The first step is always the hardest! And though I’ve never really abused my body, I’m now trying to treat it a little better, and you’d be surprised at the difference subtle little changes make. And since I know I still have to a ways to go on this earth, because naively or wisely, I suspect the former, sometime ago, in my eagerness to please God, I asked Him, like Caleb did, to give me a new mountain to climb when I’m 85. Hn, hn! And knowing our God’s penchant for catching us offside when we least expect it, I thought I’d better start getting myself in shape to climb that new mountain, some twenty years hence. Yes children, you have that long to put up with me. (smile) Oh Friends, when will I learn to stop asking God for the things some of the Bible stalwarts asked for, and often received, but at great expense and tribulation? Anyway, the deed’s already done, so all I can do now is prepare my self as best I can, for if that day ever comes. Yes mih people, please be careful what you ask the Lord for, because most of the time it comes with a hefty price tag. And now that I’ve written all that extempo(re), from the heart, I guess I’ll have to find an appropriate scripture later. But I like these Bits though, where the Spirit just gets me going; instils an idea, then let’s me run with it. And the Lord was so good to me, that when I came down here this morning to finish writing the Bit, it didn’t take long to find a suitable scripture. Enough of my prattling though, let’s look at the Bit: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.’ Now that’s excellent advice my brethren from James, the brother of Jesus, re patience in affliction! And we all suffer affliction at various stages in life, some more than others, but it’s a common problem because of man’s fallen nature. And the best way to attack that suffering, the first move we ought to make, is to get on our knees before Almighty God in sincere prayer. Yes my people, before we do anything or turn to any human, we must always take our problems first to the Father. That’s what He’s there for, and what He desires of us. The psalmist Asaph also strongly advises this course of action in Psalm 50, God is the judge: ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps.50:14-15) And on that wise note my Friends, we’ll end for today. There’s more to come, but I don’t want to hear any complaints that it was too long. (smile) And we have enough material there to ponder on for today, so let’s get a pondering nuh! Till we meet again tomorrow, the Lord willing, take care, and remember to always give God the first opportunity to help us. Much LOVE!…when prayer and praise come together in a believer’s spirit…all heaven rejoices…