Today​’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.   Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 

Well a fine Tuesday morning to all you beloved saints of Christ Jesus! Hope the Lord is blessing you and keeping your paths straight as you walk in obedience to His holy edicts. And if we’re not doing so well in our faith walk, then let’s declare some stuff that will help us remember God’s goodness and help us stand strong in these difficult times. 

So let’s acclaim some acclamations nuh! (smile) And as always, the first one is ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) Yeh friends, what’s the point of being alive eh, if we don’t enjoy the wonderful days and life that the Lord has so magnanimously granted us? None whatsoever! 

And on top of that we know without a doubt that ‘God will supply ALL our needs through His riches in glory through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil.4:19) Oh glory to our great God, who knows what we need and supplies it to us. And with all of that we are imbued with such strength and power and contentment, that we can say with all surety and sincerity: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Yes my faithful brethren, what ever we need to do, our great God, through His wonderful Son WILL give us the wherewithal to do it! Praise His holy name! And how can we forget this most wonderful acclamation? ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ (Rom.8:31) NOBODY friends! NOBODY can stand against us if God is on our side! Please remember that! 

And how about this one? ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ Oh friends, oh friends, that is such a strong foundation to stand and build our faith on that I have to quote these two relevant scriptures. John says it thus in his first epistle: ‘For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:4-5) 

What powerful and encouraging scriptures my people! Through Christ we’re so empowered that it boggles the mortal mind! (smile) And here’s what the scholars have to says about those verses. ‘5:4. Whatsoever refers to every believer born of God.’ ‘5:5. There is conquering power through this confession because God is sovereign over the world, and only through His Son does man have access to and find favour with God.’ 

Now that’s telling it like it is! If you’ve been born again with the Spirit of Christ, then you have the power to overcome any and everything that’s in this evil world! Remember too what Christ said: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) So if you’re a believer you have very good grounds to expect victory in your faith walk because of Jesus’ victory. 

Therefore, Bruh Paul was able to write these immortal words to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:35, 37-39) 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

Yeh friends, God is the GREATEST! And we are children of the GREATEST, so nobody can mess with us and get away with it! How wonderful to know that eh! And I’ll be nice and spoon feed us here with something that we should all already know and believe. It’s God’s purpose for us! ‘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.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Most definitely my fellow believers, for all of us who are called to God’s divine purpose for our lives and respond obediently, He will, in the end, work out everything for our good. We might not see or appreciate His workings right now, but as true believers, we can be sure that it will be all right in the end! Glory to God my people! 

Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and a true sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 now it’s time to go out and share that friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the many who desperately need it today. Much LOVE!

…when we’re down…nothing lifts us up…like God’s Word…that’s filled with all His wonderful promises…

P.S. I’m here chuckling because this wasn’t the lesson I intended to teach this morning…in fact I didn’t have anything in mind. (smile) But this is where I was led. Thanks to our ever-faithful God! And I believe it is encouraging and uplifting. Let’s hope you find it so too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2013 Ecclesiastes 12:14

Ecclesiastes 12:14.    For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
 
And the weather follies continue! (smile) Yes Friends, there’s been rain, freezing rain, wet snow, dry snow (smile) and all sorts of haphazard weather in my neck of the woods this weekend. And it’s not done yet! The weather people are still calling for more uncertain weather over the next few days.
 
Steups! And it has certainly been wreaking havoc on the roads, pavements, driveways, keeping people in, and thus hampering the Christmas shopping too.
 
But you know what Friends? That might just be a warning to us that we’re paying too much attention to what the world considers important – shopping, food, gifts, etc – and not enough to the true reason for the Christmas season – the birth of Jesus.
 
The precious gift that God the Father gave us to begin the process of the most wonderful and important event in man’s history, since his creation, reconciliation with our heavenly Father.
 
Wow Friends! That surely was an awesome gift! And along with it came grace; grace to live through each and every trial and trouble in our lives… And that grace is still coming every single day my people!
 
So today, regardless of the weather, or any other problems we might be undergoing, let’s loudly declare, believe and live out these immortal words of that wise psalmist: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; WE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT! 
 
Yes my brethren, every day we’re granted on planet earth is a special day, a day for rejoicing in our God’s great mercies and ever-LOVING kindness, for every day is a gift of grace from Him.
 
However mih people, in the midst of all that rejoicing, grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness, we need to also pay close attention to the evil that’s in the world; how it affects us, and how we interact with the world, consciously remembering the immortal truth of our Bit.
 
‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’
 
We absolutely cannot forget that Friends, else come the judgement day, we’ll certainly be in for some tough LOVE and justice. So let’s never forget that our God is a holy and just Deity, and though He’s also merciful, to retain His integrity, He must see that justice is done.
 
And speaking of reconciliation, as we did earlier on, listen to these words of epic proportions contained in Bruh Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth. Here he’s telling them, and us, about being ministers of reconciliation.
 
‘(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour (make it our aim), that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of (well pleasing to) him.
 
For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.’ (2 Cor.5:7-10)
 
Now here is some info from the scholars on that last verse. ‘5:10. The judgement seat of Christ: The judgement seat (Gr. bema) was an elevated seat in the square of Corinth where Roman magistrates sat to administer justice, and where the athletes who distinguished themselves in the arena received their reward.
 
The judgement in view here is not of the unbeliever but of the believer (cf. 1 Cor.4:5; Col.3:4). While it is true that for the Christian there is “no condemnation” (Rom.8:1), it is not correct to assume that God will not hold him responsible for deeds done in the body. Paul has already stated this truth in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.’
 
Please read those references Friends, as they are most valuable in helping us to understand God’s Word.
 
And we’ll end this series of messages on God’s judgement, with some very appropriate and extremely potent wisdom from the Preacher. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ (Eccl. 12:13) Don’t ever forget that Friends, because it’s wisdom at its zenith!
 
And now may the Lord comfort and guide us safely and wisely, as we traverse the paths of our earthly pilgrimage, so that when we come to stand before Him on that fateful day, He’ll say to each of us: ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant!’
 
There’s no better judgement that that my people, so let’s all be wise and aspire to it nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…in the day…when God shall judge the secrets of men…by Jesus Christ…according to my gospel…  (Rom.2:16) 
 
P.S. It’s so short Friends, that I’m truly amazed. And all God’s people said a loud and thankful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ (smile) Much LOVE my fellow believers in Christ!