Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 October 2021   John 6:35. 

John 6:35.     I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

It’s that beautiful day of the Lord again friends – Sunday! And all God’s children shouted a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks, praise and honour be unto our wonderful heavenly Father, who created us in His marvellous image and blesses us with all we need to see life through, here on earth! We LOVE You and bless Your holy name on this Your day, as we gather to worship You, either physically in your sanctuary or by technological means. 

There’s no distance in prayer nor worship, so it doesn’t matter whether we are together or far away, our prayers and worship still come as one to Your waiting ears and excited, expectant heart! That’s because we know Your great LOVE for us, and Your desire for us to only be blessed and not cursed, as You told Moses way back when. ‘O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever.’ (Deut. 5:29) 

Yes Lord, we know that the cockles of Your heart are warmed when we live the way You desire of us, that’s why today we come to give you an earful of praise and worship. So please listen up Lord and accept our thanks and praise which sincerely come from the depths of our hearts. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!’ 

And our opening song of praise is one we know so well, and sincerely LOVE. It was written in the 18th century by that old rapscallion and slave trader turned slave abolitionist by God’s mighty hand. We’re talking about John Newton (1725-1807), the writer of that other masterpiece, ‘Amazing Grace.’ Today though, we’ll raise our voices in sacrificial praise to ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds,’ another of Newton’s beautiful hymns. That’s God’s mysterious working, where He takes pleasure in turning notorious sinners into amazing saints! Think of Bruh Paul. 

So, in soulful harmony, in an up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song that conveys joy, let’s sing. ‘‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace.

 O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death… and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death…’ 

Ah friends, that was wonderful, because it was indeed sincere, and the name of Jesus sounds ever so sweet to our ears, as He is our Everything! As the song says, He’s our ‘Shepherd, Guardian, Friend, Prophet, Priest and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End.’ The only thing that’s probably left out is ‘Brother,’ and some versions do sing ‘Brother’ instead of ‘Guardian.’ So, when we say He is indeed our everything, it’s certainly no lie! 

And though the song is fairly short it is chocked full of biblical references. So let’s check out a few. We’ll begin with Peter’s confident words to the High Priest. ‘This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:11-12) Wow friends! Under those circumstances, what sweeter name can there be to us believers eh? None whatsoever!  

And when the hymn talks about manna to the hungry soul, it refers to the Lord providing manna for the children of Israel in the wilderness in Exodus 16. But when the people brought their arguments to Jesus about Moses giving their ancestors bread from heaven to eat. He calmly disputed them by saying. ‘Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. Then said they unto him, Lord evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:31-35) 

Ah mih people, Jesus is indeed manna to our hungry souls, for when we believe in Him, we neither hunger nor thirst spiritually! And we know what Psalm 147:3 says: ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows).’ Now, it’s obvious that talking about giving rest to the weary, refers to Matthew 11:28, where Jesus declares His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

And when we talking about building on the rock that’s Jesus, nobody says it better than Bruh David in Psalm 18. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (lit. rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress).’ (Ps. 18:3) You can’t get any more faith and trust than that. 

Now what about Jesus being our priest eh? Listen to the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses), but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

What a wonderful person is our Jesus! He can sympathize with all our problems, yet be without sin. Now that’s an exceedingly good thing, otherwise He would not be able to redeem us. And we’ll do one last scripture, that’s where Jesus considers us friends. He clearly says to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’  (John 15:13-15) 

And there are lots more scriptures that we can pluck from the skillfully created masterpiece of John Newton. I would suggest some valuable homework; you look through the song yourself and see what other scripture references you can find. That ought to be an interesting task for a quiet Sunday afternoon (smile). Much LOVE!

…there’s no greater or sweeter sounding name in all the world…than that of…JESUS…                                                                                                                                  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 September 2021   1 Corinthians 1:9.

1 Corinthians 1:9.      God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

What’s happening this new day filled with new compassions and mercies eh friends? And I know that most of us would say: same old, same old stuff. And to a certain extent that might be true, but just think that we are still alive and kicking, the marvellous breath of God is still flowing through us! Glory be! That means there are still lots of things for us to do down here on earth, otherwise the Lord would have taken us home. 

And you know that living and working for God is not easy, but it sure is chocked full of excitement and adventure, because we never know what He will do next, where He will send us or what He will allow to come upon us. The only thing we are sure of is that He won’t allow anything untoward to happen to us, and that He will bring us safely through any storms He allows us to go through. 

Remember His awesome promise in First Corinthians… ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtakes) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13). Now that promises a lot my brethren, but it also does not promise what some of us believe and/or expect. 

What we ought to learn from that is not that the Lord will always help us to escape the temptation, but rather He will give us a way to bear up under or endure it. Too many of us just want to escape from anything that’s difficult, but that’s not the way our God operates. Yuh don’t think that Jesus wanted to escape from all the horrific sufferation he went through? He certainly did! 

But the Father asked Him to suffer on our behalf and gave Him the grace, strength and power to bear up and endure the inhumane treatment He underwent for us. The Holy Spirit imbued Him with the power to handle it, and the same Holy Spirit imbues us with power to handle our problems. So, let’s stop thinking about ways to escape problems and instead forge ahead and come up over them through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

As one commentator, Vern Nicolette, puts it in an article on the subject found on the Active Christianity website. ‘In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks about the time of temptation and that God makes a way of escape so we can bear it. How hopeful it is that we have a God who measures each temptation so we can bear it! God has a way of escape for us in every single temptation. The way of escape is to go before the throne of grace and pray for grace in time of need; in other words, before we fall. Then we have God’s promise that we shall receive the grace, which is strength and help at the right time, so we can stand after we have overcome all things.’ 

And the author references two scriptures there; Hebrews 4:16, and Ephesians 6:13. And since I like to spoon feed us, (smile) here are those two scriptures. The first one says: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) And the second comforting and strengthening verse of scripture in times of need is this: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:13) 

Yes friends, those are the two basic things we need to withstand the demonic onslaughts that occasionally come against us: the grace and armour of God! And with those working on our behalf, through the empowering Holy Spirit, Satan doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating us! Now here are some more scriptures that will help us in our fight against temptation. Up first is this beautiful scripture: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) I like that verse because it tells me of God’s faithfulness, and that’s something I’ve totally experienced in my own life, so it boosts my spirit. 

And the next scripture comes from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people. It confidently declares: ‘They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot (land) of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth (reach out ) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

And here are two more scriptures to sustain those last two. (smile) Isaiah tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.’ (Is. 14:5) And Cousin Sol confidently proclaims from the wisdom of Proverbs: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger shall fail (wrath shall perish).’ (Prov. 22:8) 

Now that further recalls the rebuke of Eliphaz to his friend Job, where he says: ‘Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils (anger) are they consumed.’ (Job 4:7-9) 

And though Eliphaz didn’t know about Job’s unique situation, he knew from personal experience that we reap what we sow., which is the living truth, just not in Job’s case. So though there may seem to be a lot of problems, temptations and enemy attacks in our lives, let us not forget that the Lord God Almighty has placed within us the power of His Holy Spirit to enable us to fight our earthly battles and be victorious in all of them. But we must get His grace and put on His spiritual armour if we want to win the spiritual battles that take place in our lives. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who we belong to. In strong voice: ‘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 having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know Him. For that’s His greatest desire. Much LOVE!

…I have been young…and now I am old…yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken…nor his seed begging bread… (Ps. 37:5)                                                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts! ‘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 the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2020 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.     ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
 

‘And God spake all these words saying… Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex. 20:8-11) 

As always friends, our God never minces words, He comes straight out and tells it like it is. And by the way, for those of you who don’t know, that is one of the original Ten Commandments! (smile) Thus we have been told that we have to keep the sabbath day, which we celebrate on a Sunday, holy and in remembrance of God, with rest and praise and worship. 

Unfortunately, though churches have recently been given the green light to open for a specific percentage of people, with numerous safe conditions, most of them are not quite ready to do so. That means we still have to worship and sing and praise through technological methods. But it has never stopped us before, and neither is it going to stop us now. (smile) So without further ado, let’s get started with today’s song of praise nuh, a hymn appropriately titled for these rough and dangerous times: ‘Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace!’ 

Yes friends, that’s how our wonderful Lord expects us to come to Him – boldly, with confidence and faith in His undying LOVE, grace and mercy, but also humbly. Boldly, doesn’t mean arrogant and bold-faced. (smile) And now, with soulful voices, sincere hearts, and perfect harmony, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise, boldly to the throne of God. 

‘Come boldly to the throne of grace, Ye wretched sinners come, and lay your load at Jesus feet, And plead what He has done. How can I come? Some soul may say, I’m lame and cannot walk; My guilt and sin have stopped my mouth, I sigh, but dare not talk. Come boldly to the throne of grace, Though lost, and blind, and lame; Jehovah is the sinner’s friend, And ever was the same. He makes the dead to hear His voice; He makes the blind to see, The sinner lost, He came to save, And set the prisoner free. 

Come boldly to the throne of grace, For Jesus fills the throne; and those He kills, He makes alive; He hears the sigh or groan; Poor bankrupt souls, Who feel and know, the hell of sin within; Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in. Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in…the Lord will take you in…Yes the Lord will take you in…take you in’ 

And He certainly will! The Lord will NEVER refuse anyone, despite their terrible sins, who comes to Him with a sincere heart of repentance. Because that’s exactly whom He came to earth to save; the lost, the sick, the weary, the tired and downtrodden! Jesus said so Himself: ‘For the Son man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) If He says so, then it must be so! (smile) 

But here are the passages of scripture that our song was most likely based on, those to do with the sympathetic Christ, as recorded by the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (conviction, faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:14-15) 

And that’s where Jesus wins them my brethren; He is able to sympathize, to empathize with our predicaments, our ‘sufferation’ because He also suffered them as a man here on earth and knows exactly how they hurt and can be detrimental to our very beings! The only difference is that because He was also God, He did not fall to the temptations like we do. Glory be mih people! And that’s why the author of Hebrews could continue in strong proclamation: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) 

Mama Yo! What a glorious proclamation and scripture of assurance! How can we not turn to Jesus eh, since NO ONE else offers such a wonderful opportunity? We’d be truly foolish not to accept such a magnanimous gesture! And, furthermore, if this isn’t a time of rather acute need my friends, I don’t know what it will take to call it such nuh. With sickness and protests simultaneously enveloping our entire world, that certainly sounds like a time of need to me. 

And here’s why it’s oh so necessary to turn to Jesus and to hold on tightly to our faith. The scholars explain: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

Yes mih people, NO other faith allows it’s members such reassurance! They have to go and beg and plead and try to browbeat their supposed deity. But as Christians, true believers in and followers of Christ, we are gifted with the provision to come boldly to the throne of God and ask for His amazing grace, His powerful favour, all because of Christ’s work on the cross at Calvary! 

That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently write to the Ephesians: ‘In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.’ (Eph. 3:12) In other words, in Christ and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence. It can’t get any better than that friends! That’s why I encourage us today to put our whole trust, surrender our entire beings, hearts, souls and bodies to Christ Jesus, for only in Him is there any hope for the lost, the sick and the weary! Much LOVE!

…faith doesn’t make it easy…faith makes it possible…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘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) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’  (Heb. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2019 Hebrews 4:16

Hebrews 4:16.   ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

Oh my people, my people, it’s certainly true that wonders never cease in this God-given and God controlled universe, but daily they increase! Wow! Would you believe that we finally had two, note TWO sun filled days without rain? Glory be! 

And would you also believe that the ole fella took advantage of that wonderful and unexpected situation by sitting, for the first time this year on my front porch in just my old bathrobe and soaking up the warm and healing rays of the early afternoon sun as it came cascading down from a bright blue heaven? 

Oh, was it ever marvellous to feel some warm sunshine after having been incapacitated for the last couple of weeks by an unrelenting cold and cough! I sat down out there for over half an hour, while God’s healing LOVE just shone down on me, as well as enjoying the wonderful sight of God’s amazing springtime handiwork with the dry branches of the much deflated and weather conflicted trees, as they finally push forth some green buds. 

It was also nice and encouraging to see people driving by in shirtsleeves with their windows down and their arms propped thereon to catch some long missed energizing rays! The only thing that spoiled my excitement was a moment when a neighbour decided to come out with his lawn mower to cut the li’l piece of grass that he calls his. 

Chuh! Does it ever annoy and irritate me when these lawn mowers get going exactly when I’m trying to rest! It began since Saturday…and yes, my li’l patch of grass needs cutting too, and no doubt my groundskeeper will show up sometime this week in the afternoon hours to disturb my afternoon rest. But I guess that’s the price one has to pay for living in the suburbia. 

Overall though the li’l stint in the hot sun was quite enjoyable…so much so that when I came back inside I felt drunk, yeh, intoxicated, inebriated, black up from the unaccustomed rays of a warm sun! Now that’s my yesterday story and I’m sticking to it! 

And what’s my today story, you ask? Well that’s simply I care about you my faithful readers so much that I am up at five in the morning to write the Bit because I have to go into the concrete jungle named Toronto for an early morning medical appointment! Wouldn’t want you to be receiving it too late now! (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘This Too Is Faith!’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I am desperately afraid Of tempestuous waves. Had I been on the ship The day you stilled the storm (Matt.8:23-27) I would have been the first To scream for help – This I shamelessly admit. But, Lord, this too is faith: Boldly expecting You To do something about it.’ 

Yes friends, as I read that yesterday, it occurred to me that that was quite true. Not because you are afraid and cry out for help means you don’t have faith; perhaps not enough, but merely crying out to God and expecting Him to do something to ease your situation is also a measure of faith! 

Nowhere does it say in the Good Book that we won’t ever be accosted by the enemy’s attempts to have us succumb to the negative emotion of fear, but it does say that when those times come, we must have sufficient faith to cry out to God; cry out with confidence that He can and will do something about it! 

And the Scripture Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; these glorious and ever so encouraging words. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, that is such a heart-warming and encouraging scripture! Why? Because it lets us know in no uncertain terms that whatever is our problem we can always come confidently, but humbly and reverently, before God’s throne and receive His ever-available grace and mercy! 

We are Sons of God now, and that means we can go to our heavenly Father, just like we do to our earthly ones, for help and succour in our times of need! And the reason for all of that goodness and mercy is simply the work of Jesus Christ. 

Listen to these two preceding verses: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14-15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus suffered temptation, just like we’re doing, so He can therefore understand our problems with the enemy. The only difference is that He did not sin. Unfortunately though, we’re not that blessed, so we have to resort to Him and the Father to gain the strength to withstand the enemy’s attacks. 

And I like how the scholars explain our Bit. ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest; Jesus Christ. The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow saints in Christ! Glory to our great God! 

Now let’s be assured of all that we’ve spoken about today and go home sincerely declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, loudly telling the world who and whose we are. As one now: ‘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 if we really mean it, then let’s go out and action it nuh, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…in Jesus Christ…we have ALL that we’ll ever need…give Him much thanks and praise…  

P.S. Would you believe that outside is wet? Ah Lord eh! We couldn’t make three days straight of sunshine! (smile)