Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 September 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.      Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Ah mih people, how quickly these days are passing! Would you believe it’s Sunday already? Didn’t we just celebrate it a few days ago? (smile) We might have. But it’s time to gather for worship once again on the Lord’s day, be it physically in His sanctuary, or at home through technological means. And today we will sing a song of hope, that was born out of a sorrowful life. The song is titled ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus,’ and it’s the indisputable truth, but the life of its author Joseph Mendicott Scriven (1819-1886) was not a happy one. Instead, it was filled with many trials and misfortunes that eventually brought him to his knees. 

The hymnary.org website tells us that Scriven was an Irish immigrant to Canada. Before he came here, apparently poor health caused him to give up his dream of a military career, and then his fiancée died in a drowning accident in 1844. He moved to Ontario, Canada soon thereafter and became a teacher, but misfortune followed him when his new fiancée died after a short illness in 1855. Poor fellow! And that seemed to be the last straw, for after that his life was never stable, and his eccentricities alienated him from his neighbours. 

They say, as a member of the Plymouth Brethren, he went about doing menial tasks for the poor and disabled, trying to live as literally as possible according to the Sermon on the Mount, and during his remaining years obviously needed the solace of the song he had written. But unfortunately, it never seemed to have cured his depression, thus it’s unknown whether he committed suicide or accidentally drowned in Rice Lake in 1886. But despite that sorrowful life, Scriven did leave us a gem of a song. 

And it’s worth noting that many of the wonderful songs we sing today came from adversity in the lives of the authors, who took a moment to pen their thoughts, their griefs, their sorrows, and also their hopes in Almighty God, so that we who came after them would have a means of solace in our time of misfortune and grief. So let’s pay some belated homage to Joseph Scriven right now nuh, as we sing those haunting but oh so true words he wrote in his time of need, so long ago. In soulful harmony, let’s raise our voices in sincere sacrificial praise. 

‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! – Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer! – 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge– take it to the Lord in prayer! Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Yes, What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? It most certainly is! We have a wonderful friend in Jesus, and an awesome privilege of taking all our problems to Him in prayer! Wow! The problem though is that we don’t take those amazing benefits of being in communion with Jesus as seriously as we ought to. We either feel that we can handle our problems ourselves, or that Jesus doesn’t have time or the desire to deal with our matters. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my people. Jesus has the time, and also the inclination to deal with any and all problems we might have. 

Why do you think He offered us the Great Invitation eh? ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Now does that sound like someone who doesn’t have the time or the inclination to help His followers? Obviously not! But ofttimes it’s our foolish and stubborn pride that keeps us from going to Jesus for solace and help in our time of need. 

And even in olden times the Lord encouraged His people to come to Him. Hear these words from the prophet Jeremiah when the Lord promised a glorious return to the captives from Babylon. ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and might things, which thou knowest not.’ (Jer. 33:3) Yes friends, from the beginning of time the Lord has always been entreating and encouraging us to call on Him, since He is our refuge and fortress and strong tower. 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it on the Lord’s behalf nuh. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. Behold I have graven (inscribed) thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.’ (Is. 49:15-16) How much more encouragement do we need to go to God in sincere prayer eh when troubles befall us eh? Jesus engraved us in the palms of His hand when He bore the nails in them on the cross. That’s another promise kept! 

And hear what Moses told the children of Israel before he died. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) But that’s exactly why the Israelites spent forty years wandering around in the desert; they were scared and afraid and didn’t believe the promises of God, even after he had parted the Red Sea and allowed them to cross over on dry land, then drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. 

Ah my fellow saints, we have it so good it’s not funny! But sadly, we don’t truly believe it, and thus we can’t truly appreciate it, otherwise we wouldn’t be having all this fussing and fighting amongst ourselves and turning away from Jehovah God. And we shall close with these wonderful words of promise from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and a fortress. 

The psalmist ends it with God speaking. ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him. I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. he shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life (length of days) will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

What more can I say eh friends? All the cards are in our hands. Remember we need God much more than He needs us. It’s up to us to go to Him now, for He has already come to us. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t believe the promises of God…what can you believe eh…                                                                                                                  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     ​Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Gather round friends, gather round, tis the day of the Lord! It’s an auspicious, a right royal occasion to give Him much thanks and praise for the awesome breath of life and the many other blessings He has so generously bestowed on us during our lifetime. I know we still can’t gather physically in large numbers, but that has not so far stopped us, and will never stop us from worshipping our wonderful God. In His omniscience, during this time of pandemic, He has conveniently made it possible for us to worship Him through technological means. And though something is lost in the translation (smile) it’s still better than not worshipping Him at all. 

Now, as we do each Sunday, we’ll begin worship with a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today’s song is that magnificent and most touching hymn titled ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ Wow! And is it ever a hymn for these trying times! But before we get into it, let’s get a li’l info into its interesting history. According to the Hymnary.org website, the hymn was written by Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886), and Irish immigrant to Canada. 

‘Because his life was filled with grief and trials, Scriven often needed the solace of the Lord as described in his famous hymn. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, he enrolled in a military college to prepare for an army career. However, poor health forced him to give up that ambition. Soon after came a second blow—his fiancée died in a drowning accident on the eve of their wedding in 1844. Later that year he moved to Ontario, where he taught school in Woodstock and Brantford. His plans for marriage were dashed again when his new bride-to-be died after a short illness in 1855. 

Following this calamity Scriven seldom had a regular income, and he was forced to live in the homes of others. He also experienced mistrust from neighbors who did not appreciate his eccentricities or his work with the underprivileged. A member of the Plymouth Brethren, he tried to live according to the Sermon on the Mount as literally as possible, giving and sharing all he had and often doing menial tasks for the poor and physically disabled. Because Scriven suffered from depression, no one knew if his death by drowning in Rice Lake was suicide or an accident.’ 

No wonder such touching, encouraging and immortal words were able to come from the soul of that gentleman! Now let’s sing it at a middling tempo, with great gusto, truly acknowledging the wonderful friendship that Jesus provides for all who sincerely believe in Him. As one, harmonious, melodious earthly choir, let’s wake up heaven with our song of praise. 

‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! – Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer! – 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge– take it to the Lord in prayer! Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ 

Oh my people, what indisputable words of wisdom! But unfortunately, so many of us refuse to put them into action. We foolishly refuse to accept the truth of the words of the hymn: ‘What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ Yes friends, that ability to take everything to our God in prayer is one of the greatest privileges of being a child of God, a believer in Jesus Christ! We won’t even talk about Jesus just yet, but we’ll go back to the Old Testament where from way back when, the Lord promised to hear our prayers. 

Listen to the prophet Isaiah on His behalf. ‘And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ (Is. 65:4) Now doesn’t that sound like an invitation for communication, a welcome to prayer? It certainly does! And the psalmist tells us quite clearly from Psalm 91- God is a refuge and a fortress – speaking on behalf of God: ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

Oh precious saints of Christ, what’s the purpose of claiming we know the Lord and not call on Him for help eh? None whatsoever! And when we get to the New Testament, Jesus Himself, our Lord and Saviour, our Deliverer from the bondage of sin, offered us this Great Invitation, the greatest that’s ever been offered: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Listen friends, Jesus didn’t sacrifice His sinless life on the cross of Calvary for fun nuh. He was quite serious when He paid our sin debt in full, and that invitation above is proof that He wants us to come to Him and lay our burdens down at His feet. He wants to help us bear the heavy load that’s this earthly life, that’s what His death and resurrection was all about. However, if we don’t take our problems to Him, in prayer, the method of communication the Father decreed between God and man, Jesus can’t help us. 

And do we ever have loads of trials and temptations, especially in these times of unforeseen storms. As the hymn says, ‘we should never be discouraged,’ but how do we do that without the help of Jesus eh? It’s impossible. Likewise, when friends and family forsake and despise us, Jesus is the One to whom we should look to for solace! And again, way back in the Old Testament the Lord faithfully promised it. Hear Isaiah tell it nuh. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.’ (Is. 49:15) 

And that obviously led Bruh David to pen these immortal words of comfort and encouragement. ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (care for me).’ (Ps. 37:10) And as one commentator points out, Bruh David didn’t say ‘if’ but ‘when’ meaning that’s something he knew for a fact. So friends, I don’t know what else to say to get us to go to Jesus for whatever we need, in whatever situation we might find ourselves. He is the answer! The ONLY true One! Only He can fix our problems and bring true peace, solace and comfort to our burdened souls. 

But we have to take our concerns to Him in prayer, because that’s the only way He will generally fix them. Oh, He can fix them without us asking, but the Father prefers us to initiate the communication when our souls are troubled. So please, let’s wake up to the advantages and privileges we have as sincere believers in Christ Jesus nuh, instead of frivolously wasting them. Much LOVE!

…Jesus not only saves our souls for heaven…but also helps with our problems on earth…                                                                                    

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2015 Hebrews 10:23

Hebrews 10:23.    Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Well a warm and wonderful welcome to all you loyal and faithful Friends and believers out there in Scrip-Bit Land!

Welcome, welcome, welcome! It is ever so good to be in the land of the living with the awesome breath of Almighty God flowing through out frail and fragile human bodies! Wow! There is nothing else in the world that compares to that, for it is indeed the breath of life, the single, solitary thread that keeps us all going.

And it is all the more important when, as students, believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are patiently and thankfully waiting for the new mercies, blessings, grace and forgiveness specially made for today, to be unleashed from heaven unto us saints down here on Mother Earth. Glory to God!

That’s why we should all raise our voices in praise and thanks and steadfastly proclaim; ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’

Yes Friends, this Tuesday morning in early July is a blessed day, so please let’s treat it as such. And luckily, in my neck of the woods it just might be the second day of what now passes for summer weather with highs in the mid-twenties, though somewhat cloudy with a chance of rain. But we will take it any day over the cold white stuff. (smile)

And today I have an affirmation from Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) from a little while back to share with us once again. It simply declares: ‘TODAY IS MY DAY!’ And that’s gospel truth my people, so please affirm with me.

‘God has destined me to be a barrier breaker! He created me to be uncontainable. I have talent and potential given to me by the Creator of the universe. There are seeds of greatness inside of me. Today, I choose to break free from a limited mindset and enlarge my vision.

Today, God is taking me places that I’ve never even dreamed of before. Today, God is fulfilling His purpose and destiny in my life. Today I will experience His favour like never before in every area of my life.’ Mama Mia!

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Amen! So let it be!’

Yes my brethren, let’s allow it all to hang out today! Let’s break down those barriers of bondage that are holding us back from God’s best! Let’s release the seeds of greatness planted in our souls by our Creator and plant them in good and fertile soil, so that they can bear much good fruit, for that’s why they were planted in us in the first place.

Let’s enlarge our vision and our mindset because our God is a great and powerful Deity who doesn’t deal in small, petty and trifling stuff. And if we want to enjoy His best, then we have to improve and enlarge our minds and visions.

And today I was sent a heavenly zeppo to preach… sorry, to teach (smile) on the twin attitudes of hope and faith. Remember, without hope, there can be no faith, for hope is the place where it all begins.

And as the Good Book so wisely tells us; ‘Now faith is the substance (the realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (the conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1)

That means through hope, we are assured of the things that we can’t see with our physical sight, but surely can see them with our spiritual vision. In other words, we see them through the eyes of faith! It’s a blessed assurance that we have in the promises and faithfulness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

That brings us to our Bit: ‘let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’

Yes indeed my brethren our great and wonderful and magnanimous God is indeed faithful to keep each and every one of His promises! He has not reneged on a single one down through all the ages, and He never will! Wow! What a great friend and Saviour we have in Jesus!

And there is no better way to express that than through the wonderful age-old hymn that so many of us grew up to. So please sing it with me, in hungry hope and expectant faith.

‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer. Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.

Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.’

Yes my believing brethren, what an awesome assurance we can have in Jesus Christ if we allow Him to come into our hearts, souls, bodies and minds and work His good works in us! There is nothing or no one else under the sun that can promise and then faithfully deliver on those promises!

All we need is sincere hope and trust and faith and surrender to His unconditional LOVE and care which runs from everlasting to everlasting! He made us Friends, and has a plan for every one of our lives, but we have to bow to His sovereignty and righteousness if we are to be enlightened as to His wonderful plans for us. Not knowing, and thus not living out the beautiful plan earmarked for us is possibly the greatest disappointment we can ever know down here on earth.

And we’ll end with a massive scripture of assurance and encouragement from Hebrews, one which we all know, but don’t seriously accept and live by. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)

Yes my people, we need some patience, sometimes plenty of it, but fear not, God’s promise will be fulfilled, just in His own time. So please stand strong and steadfast in faith, if you want to see the mercies and blessings of God in your life. That is indeed heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…walking with Jesus might lead us along some rough and unpaved roads…but the rewards of His promise…oh Friends…they are indeed most wonderful and incomparable…trust me…I’m talking from personal experience… 

P.S. Oh Friends, I just LOVE writing these Bits that come straight from the heart, without any forward planning, like this one today. And I do hope that it triggers your hope, faith, patience and LOVE, and help them rise to a higher level, so that you can find true solace, comfort and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He desires you to have.

Oh mih breddren, I can’t even stop the words from flowing, that’s how much the adrenalin is running. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2012 Hebrews 6:15

 Hebrews 6:15.     And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Ah Friends, many of you experienced the strange weather patterns of yesterday and today, where the Eastern half of North America’s snow belt had vicious snow and rain storms with powerful winds, while the Western half that’s usually colder, basked in enviable, record breaking summer weather. Luckily my area only got rain and strong winds, though places not far to the north of me saw several inches of snow hit the turf. And yet we dispute the stark evidence of changed, screwed up, unusual weather patterns. It’s not even so much a matter of whom or what’s causing it, but a simple admission that it’s changing. When we have spring in February, summer in March and winter in late April, something’s certainly changed. I guess those who have vested interest in the status quo are refusing to see the forest for the trees, because once they admit that significant changes are indeed happening, they’ll be forced to consider why, which could cost them serious coin. Anyway Friends, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that weather patterns are changing, for it’s doing so all over the world, and for a variety of reasons, emanating from both God and man; where we’re abusing the environment, and God’s laying some licks on us for our gross disobedience. And though as individuals, we can’t do much to sway the powers that be, my fellow believers, as a cohesive and vocal group we can certainly make our voices heard and our votes count. Our world is in such a mess, in all aspects, and getting worse every day, that it will take a lot of collective effort to straighten it out. And you know that it’s us, Jesus’ people, who will have to do it, since Lucifer and his evil cohorts like it the way it is; evil, ungodly and destructive. Sadly though, it’s our children and their offspring who will suffer the most if things don’t change for the better soon. Friends, we have to get serious and work tirelessly in our own little sphere to bring God and some sense of a respectable society back into fashion. They say fashion changes over time, well it’s time the fashion of ungodliness and evil enveloping our world be changed back to godliness and goodness. And it won’t be easy my people. But you know that working in tandem with God, all things are possible, so it’s up to us to get started, because God is always there, waiting for us to sincerely ask for His help. The main question though is, are we ready, willing and able to take up our crosses and follow Jesus? Are we ready to live our Bit? ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ Yes Friends, are we willing to patiently suffer the host of frustrations and indignities possible in such a fight, as Jesus did? Now riddle I this, riddle I that, this scripture: ‘For this is thankworthy (commendable), if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.’ (1 Pet.2:19-21) Ah mih Christian people, are we willing to suffer when we’ve done right, like Jesus did? That’s the million- dollar question we must ask ourselves. And the answer needs to be a resounding ‘YES,’ if we’re to successfully turn things around! Listen to this passage from James re faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) Having read that, can we consider our trials and tribulations, our testing, as joyful? It’s hard, but we can, with strong and steadfast faith, for to true and serious believers, suffering brings patience. To some though, trials will bring bitterness, because the natural reaction is to try and escape them, however God uses them to mature us and make us more Christ-like. Ah Friends, it’s indeed a rough row we have to hoe to bring about godly change in our ungodly world, but the same way it changed over the last forty or so years from godly to ungodly, it can also be changed back. But it needs a lot of backbone and belly from us believers. And I’ll leave us with these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to ponder on, re fighting the good fight of faith. He’s just finished warning Timothy about the dangers of worldly living, including the dangerous desire to idolize money. ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) That wise advice pertains to us even more today than back then my people! So please, let’s consciously accept it and put it into action nuh; first in our own lives, then hopefully in those around us. It’s the only way serious, sensible, godly improvement will ever occur in our misguided and troubled world. Much LOVE!…when true believers get together in Jesus’ name…godly changes are inevitable…