Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…