Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2022 Psalm 34:19.

Psalm 34:19.       Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.    

Well friends, after today our sanctuary will be closed again for another few weeks. As a result of the unnerving spike of the Omicron virus, the government has further clamped down on lots of stuff. And though our worship service would not have been much affected, the leadership of our denomination decided to play it safe and shut all their sanctuaries until things lighten up.

So from next week, we will be back to only technological means of worship. And to set us off on the right foot for this last Sunday of physical worship, is a most appropriate song titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Now that anchor is Jesus my people. And it does hold, if you believe it will.

The song was born in 1992 from the frustration and rough times of a burned our pastor Lawrence Chewning, a time when his wife also had her third miscarriage. It led him to take a six month sabbatical, most of which he spent playing the piano and talking to God, and during those moments of reflection and prayer, he created the song. Eventually, Chewning mentioned the story of the song God had given him to singer Ray Boltz, who remodelled it and released it in 1995.

And with that inspiring story under our belt, let’s sing a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version of  ‘The Anchor Holds,’ letting all heaven and earth know that we are indeed sincere in our sacrifices of praise this day of the Lord. ‘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. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But 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. The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Oh, I have been young, but I am older now, thank the Lord, And there has been beauty, that these eyes have seen, But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved, His LOVE for me.

The anchor holds, though my ship is battered. The anchor holds, though my sails are torn. And I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.  I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Thank You Jesus! I have fallen on my knees, As I face the raging seas, But the anchor holds, In spite of the storm. Yes, the anchor holds, In spite of the storm.’

Oh my people, it’s easy to sing the very moving and inspirational words of the song, but it’s much more difficult to put those words into action in our lives. However, with each storm we face, with Jesus as our anchor and helmsman, our faith in Him grows, and it becomes a tad easier to do each time. And though it’s not the most desirable aspect of our Christian faith, it’s only through personal experience that we are able to grow and come up higher.

And I know that we have all faced experiences that seemed like they would hit us for six, but when all hope seemed lost  and we got down on our knees during the raging storm and held on for dear life to that solid anchor called Jesus, we were able to successfully battle the stormy seas in a battered ship with torn sails. Oh my faithful brethren, only the anchor named Jesus can cause us to accomplish such eventful deeds under such trying circumstances! That’s why it’s ever so important, so necessary to have Him as a major part of our lives.

And why is that you ask, (smile) despite all that we’ve just spoken of? I believe Bruh David puts it best in Psalm 34, where he confidently declares: ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto (near to) them  that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, held guilty). The Lord redeemth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). (Ps. 34:17-22)

Now, I personally can’t find any arguments with those sentiments, but just in case you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, reputedly the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) Yes friends, as the scholars’ so rightly tell us: ‘The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ And yes, it might not happen right away, and we ought not fret about the ways of the evil doers, just continue doing what we know is right.

Now, if you still don’t believe in God’s power to hold you up in times of storm, then listen to the prophet Micah, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. He warns: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8)

And we are going to end with one powerful example of how the Lord looks after His people and catches the wicked in their own snare. Remember back in Babylon when the king’s right hand man, Haman, plotted to eradicate the Jews and built a gallows fifty cubits high to hang his hated enemy, the righteous Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle? You can read the whole story in the Book of Esther. But just listen to what eventually happened to the wicked Haman. The Good Book says: ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subsided).’ (Esth. 7:10)

Yes my fellow saints, Haman was what you call hoisted on his own petard, that’s injured, or done in by the same thing he created to injure or do in someone else. So please, please, let that be a serious warning for us. The wicked will get their comeuppance in the Lord’s time. It’s His solemn promise, and we all know that He keeps every promise He makes. Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Jesus…the Son…                                                                                                                                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2020 Matthew 1:21.

Matthew 1:21.     ​And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.

By Jove mih bredrin, it’s Thursday; Christmas Eve! The day before Christ’s birth! Wow! Can you imagine the celebrations and otherwise that’s going on around the world right now in anticipation and preparation for that glorious morn, even though it might be somewhat muted this year because of all our unforeseen problems, especially the corona virus pandemic? 

But however yuh take it friends, Christmas is still Christmas, and unless we in real straightened circumstances, we believers in Christ will make every effort to celebrate His awesome and incarnate birth! No pandemic, or political strife, or whatever, is going to stop us from worshipping and giving much thanks to our wonderful God for initiating salvation and eternal life through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ with His birth! 

Please let the world know it and take serious note! Christians are rising up in the name of Christ! We taking back the world for God the Father through Jesus, the Son! Mama Mia! And when Christians rise up in and through Christ, NOTHING can stop them; certainly not the defanged and ‘detoothed’ evil lion called Satan, since He has no authority or power over us, except what we allow him to have. 

That’s because he was totally defeated at Calvary’s cross by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who summarily took away the keys of hell, death and the grave from his evil highness, and now he’s just like a li’l loopy dog, going home whining with his tail between his legs after he got crushed in the biggest fight of his evil life! Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! 

Yeh friends, the ole fella waxing philosophical this Christmas Eve morning. (smile) And why not eh, when we celebrating the faithful keeping of a promise made centuries before the actual event occurred? The prophet Isaiah told it to us quite clearly: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

And yuh better believe the beginning of this promise was fulfilled on Christmas day some two thousand years ago, when the Christ child, the incarnate one was born of the virgin Mary. As the angel reassured her husband Joseph: ‘Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. 

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet (Isaiah), saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us.’ (Matt. 1:20-23) 

Oh mih people, what a great and faithful God we worship! That prophecy was made by Isaiah, way back when (Is. 7:14), and though it took a long time to come true, it did eventually. That’s the important thing: our God keeps all His promises, He just doesn’t tell us when He will fulfill them. That means we have to learn to wait in trusting faith, with eager expectation, and there is where we too often break down and fall apart. But as Jesus keeps on saying, ‘only believe, fear not, have faith.’ That’s all we need to do. And yes, it’s not easy, but with Him in our lives, it is certainly doable. 

And I want to elaborate a bit on some of those scriptures with the knowledgeable words of the scholars. ‘1:21-22.Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.” This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature, is the Saviour.’ And as Jesus Himself plainly said: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And that’s it right there in a nutshell friends. Our God LOVED us so much that He wanted to save us from eternal damnation. And the only righteous and just way He could do that, since sins needed to be paid for, was to have His only Son come to earth in human form and pay for them on our behalf. Please note too that ONLY an unblemished, a sinless body could pay for sins, and Jesus was the only person like that. 

So just contemplate for a moment the heartache that the Father felt knowing that to save a bunch of ungrateful sinners, He had no alternative but to place our punishment on His wonderful Son. Now please let that sink into our souls and minds and remind us of how we hurt when our children suffer. Maybe then we’ll realize what a big gift the Lord made to us on that first Christmas Day. 

And as per the scholars, re “Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us: This is a title describing the deity of the person of the Son of God rather than a name actually used by Him. It implies God will come to dwell among His own people, which He did in the person of Christ.’ So friends, the coming of Jesus, His earthly birth, is not be taken lightly, because it marks the beginning of the era of our salvation, something for which we should be eternally grateful. 

And for those of us who are truly grateful for what our Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so magnanimously granted to us to do their earthly work. Altogether now in strong sincere voice, with a thankful Christmas Spirit. (smile) 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And since it’s Christmas, a time of celebration, and a time of severe shortage of most things, especially LOVE, it’s even more important than ever that we share those blessings just as generously with others. Much LOVE!

…please remember…that CHRIST…is the ONLY reason…for the season…   

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11:   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.
 

Sunday morning’s coming down friends…in fact, by the time you receive this missive, it will have already come down! (smile) But don’t worry, God’s great universe is unfolding as it should. But what else do we expect from the great architect and planner eh? Nothing less than things running the way He planned them. 

And so it is with us, His greatest creation: He planned us to worship and praise Him and pray to Him and receive answers to those prayers. He also stipulated that once a week we should lay down our labour and gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, and we have designated Sunday as our Sabbath, our day of rest and worship. 

So let me invite us to gather in the Lord’s house nuh. And let us be also glad, the way Bruh David was, when they invited him to go into the house of the Lord. (Ps.122:1) (smile) And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some praise and worship in glorious song! 

According to the Internet site ‘godtube,’ our song for today,’ To God be the Glory’ is a hymn with lyrics by Fanny Crosby and music by William Howard, possibly written around 1872, but first published in 1875. It soon became popular in Britain, but never had any success in the U.S until the 1950’s when it was added to the songbook of Billy Graham’s crusades. Now it’s one of our very popular hymns. 

And we can certainly understand why: Because it ‘celebrates the greatness of God and calls upon an appreciation for the wondrous things “He hath done.” It is a glorious hymn to be sung rejoicefully in the spirit of gratitude.’ And that’s no lie! So without further ado, let’s sing it nuh, in sweet, soaring harmony, rejoicefully, and most definitely in the spirit of gratitude! 

All together now: ‘To God be the glory, great things He hath done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in. (Refrain Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. (Refrain) Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see. 

(Refrain: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

Oh friends, oh friends, that was beautiful! We sounded like the heavenly host that continually worships God. ‘The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.’ (Rev.4:10-11) 

O my fellow believers, is our great God ever worthy of tumultuous praise and worship, glory, power and honour! He certainly is! Just look at the marvellous things He’s done nuh! He LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His only Son, like a lamb on the cross at Calvary, so that His sinless blood could pay for the atonement of our sins! And with His resurrection, opened the gate of eternal life for anyone who believes on Him to enter into the halls of heaven! 

Wow! For that the Lord is certainly worthy of praise! And we ought also to rejoice over that perfect redemption performed by Jesus. And what a wonderful situation Jesus’ sacrifice caused, so much so that even the most disgusting offender is instantly pardoned once he sincerely believes! And in the doing of all those great things, our majestic God has also taught us great things! 

And if yuh think we rejoicing now through Jesus earthly work, just listen to Fanny’s words as she reflects those of the Good Book: ‘But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.’ Yeh mih breddren, the celebration now is incomparable to what it will be when we bounce up with Jesus face to face in the hallowed halls of heaven!  

Ah friends, that’s why Christians are supposed to be the happiest and most joyful people in the world! We have been accorded such wonderful privileges and blessings down here on earth, along with the faithful promise of more to come in the afterlife that our puny finite minds can’t even truly comprehend them! 

I guess that’s why so many of us drag ourselves around like we’re bearing the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. Sorry friends, Jesus has already assumed that position! You don’t have to go around feeling sad and sorrowful and beating up yourself any longer. Otherwise you’re just making a mockery of Jesus’ sacrifice. And I’m sure you don’t want to do that. 

So please, let’s lift our heads, hands and hearts to the sky and shout a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord! You are indeed worthy to be praised! We LOVE You and bless Your holy name! Amen! And again we say: ‘Amen!’ Now let’s go home rejoicing in the goodness and wonder of our great Triune God – the ONLY REAL and TRUE DEITY that exists! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord…is the true believer’s strength…