Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 October 2021 Proverbs 3:1-2.

Proverbs 3:1-2.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.

Oh friends, today doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as bright and sun shiny as the last two.  Wednesday has opened somewhat dark and cloudy, but let’s hope that’s just the opening salvo of the battle and the sun will win out in the end, as light always does against darkness. (smile) The temps will be up in the low twenties again though. 

I guess we are experiencing what’s known as ‘Indian Summer,’ a warmer than normal period which can crop up during the fall season. However, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to use that name, since everybody is up in arms about using Indian names. 

But that’s a conversation for another day. Right now we’re concerned about these marvellous words of advice from Cousin Sol as he exhorts us to obedience. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

Yes my people, Cousin Sol says a lot in those few words. Keeping the Lord’s commandments is key to several important things in our lives; length of days, long life and peace. Now all of us crave those things, but we can only come by them when we honour the Lord with obedience to His commandments. 

And you ask what’s the difference between ‘length of days and long life?” One commentator puts it thus: “Length of days” puts more emphasis on how long someone lives, not just breathing, but in a productive fashion. Each day is put to full use and their number will be many, for God keeps a man busy.’ 

And it’s the same thing Moses said to the Israelites so long ago: ‘All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do (be careful to observe), that ye may live, and multiply (increase in number), and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto (promised) your fathers.’ (Deut. 8:1) 

Yuh see friends, Israel’s conquering of the Promised Land depended on their keeping of the Lord’s commandments which they didn’t do, and thus wandered forty long and difficult years in the wilderness for that disobedience. Likewise, our disobedience, lack of keeping God’s commands today is causing us oodles of hardship and worry, because without Him in a most privileged position in our lives, we can’t find peace in times of trouble like we’re currently experiencing. 

But let’s leave length of days and long life alone for the moment and concentrate on peace, which so many of us are dying to have. Let’s look at some scriptures that trumpet the getting and having of peace through obedience to the Lord’s commands. This first once comes from Psalm 119, and it says: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law; and nothing shall offend them (make them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) That’s as plain and simple as it can get my brethren. 

And if that doesn’t touch the cockles of your heart, then listen to this scripture from Isaiah’s hymn of praise, where he confidently declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is. 26:3) 

Now, if you think because those verses come from the Old Testament they are no longer viable, then hear these from Bruh Paul in the New Testament. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phill. 4:6-7) 

So you see, if you want the peace of God, you have to stay in the good graces of God, through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, which simply means obeying His commandments as best you can. God’s peace will not be bestowed on us unless we sincerely honour Him in our walk of life. 

And when yuh talking about scripture verses on peace, here is the quintessential one, the one that trumps them all, straight from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In His promise to send the Holy Spirit to comfort the disciples, He tells them: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Now that says it all my fellow saints! The peace that Jesus gives us is nothing like what the world gives. The peace from Jesus quiets our hearts, stills our fears and anxieties even in the midst of the biggest storm, storms like what we are now going through. 

So, if you can’t find any peace in your spirit right now, I would take a look at your relationship to Jesus; see how close you are to Him, if you are studying His word, if you are keeping His commandments and what are you doing to further His kingdom. I can guarantee that if you have a close enough relationship with Him, or at least are sincerely trying, He will provide peace of mind. 

But again, as Isaiah says trust is an essential factor. If you don’t trust God to keep His promises and live your life as though you truly do, then whatever else you do is a complete waste of time. And I do hope that today’s message raises up our desire for peace so badly, that we sincerely turn to Jesus to seek it. 

Now for those of us who are already out there seeking it, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, let us remember that if we endure until the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So please hang in there my brethren! Much LOVE!

…if you’re seeking peace…then wisdom dictates…you seek it from…The Prince of Peace…Jesus Christ… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 September 2021 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.     The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust, my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). 

Oh my fellow believers, once again it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day! So please, let’s heed the call to worship nuh, be it in the newfound freedom of His sanctuary, (smile) as some of the restrictions of the pandemic have been lifted, or through the miracle of modern technology. But come Sunday, worship is a must! And as always, we begin each Sunday session of worship with a song of praise. 

Today’s song is a favourite Christian hymn authored by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in the latter half of the 18th century. And though there is no evidence to back up what’s since become a legend, the story goes that the Reverend ‘drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. 

Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics. The fissure that is believed to have sheltered Toplady is now marked as the “Rock of Ages”, both on the rock itself and on some maps, and is also reflected in the name of a nearby tea shop.’ By now you must know that today we are singing the definitive Christian hymn ‘Rock of Ages.’ And such a moving and powerful song does need such a miraculous background to help us keep the faith. 

So, let’s sing it in harmony and sincerity, in a soulful, up-tempo riddim, because it’s not a sad song, but one of encouragement and safety, one that brings joy to the human soul and spirit. As one strong voice raised to heaven in sacrificial praise: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labours of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die. Wash me, Saviour or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…Let me hide myself in thee…let me hide myself in thee….’ 

And believe me friends, there is no better place to hide in this universe than in Christ Jesus! For He is indeed our refuge and place of safety. Bruh David says it best in Psalm 18 – His prayer of Thanksgiving for deliverance from all his enemies. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust, my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what the song ‘Rock of Ages’ is saying to us. Jesus is our strength, our Saviour, the one to whom we can turn in any situation and receive comfort and safety, encouragement and resuscitation. And the Hymnary.org website lends a valuable insight into the song. It says: ‘While evidence to support that story (of Reverend Toplady’s adventure) is lacking, it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’ 

Wow mih bredrin! What gospel truth that is! And not only Bruh David uses the rock as a metaphor for God; His strength, staying power and comfort, but listen to Moses in his song to the children of Israel. ‘Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine (teaching) shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut. 32:1-4) 

And if any human being should know of God’s strength, truth and righteousness it’s surely Moses who had so many miraculous dealings with the Lord! The prophet Isaiah, another great man of God, also described the Lord in rock-like terms. In his hymn of praise, he declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is. 26:3-4) 

Now friends, if godly men like Moses, Isaiah and Bruh David could consider the Lord as being the Rock of Ages, who are we to say them nay eh? We should be shouting it even louder than them, because we now have Jesus fulfilling the Lord’s promises of safety, succour, refuge and comfort! 

And we’ll close with these uplifting words from the website Godtube, which say: ‘Even when we may feel like we are all alone, remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock Of Ages.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ 

Yes my people, it is indeed a wonderful way to worship! So please, let’s allow all the good things we’ve said today to stir us up nuh, to raise the level of our passion for Christ, so that we can do justice to His name and bring glory to the Father as we ought to. Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be the glory…through Jesus Christ, the Son…                                                                                                                          

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.     He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

Time to gather once more friends…and still mostly technologically. (smile) But who cares how we gather, once we gather to praise and worship the Lord on His day, knowing that He will be amongst us wherever and however we come to Him in humble adoration! And today we begin worship with a real golden oldie, ‘Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.’ And before we go further, let’s talk about a cleft. It’s a space or opening in a rock where one can hide. And in the context of ‘Rock of Ages,’ it is a metaphor for God, used as such throughout the Bible. 

The hymn was written by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in the seventeen sixties, after supposedly finding shelter from a thunderstorm in a cleft of a rock in Somerset, England. And though there’s no proof to substantiate this story, the website Hynary.Org tells us that ‘it does provide a vivid image through which to understand the hymn. Christ and His redemptive work on the cross are like that cleft in the rock, where we can find shelter from the deluge of sin’s guilt and power.’  And this one’s for you Scottie mih brother, because I know you like these golden oldies. (smile) 

So let’s sing loud, proud, grateful, soulful and harmonious nuh. ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labours of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die. Wash me, Saviour or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…Let me hide myself in thee…let me hide myself in thee….’ 

And believe me friends, there is no better place to hide than in the cleft of Rock that’s our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now let’s look at a few places in the Good Book where our God is referred to as a Rock. We’ll begin with Moses’ song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut. 32:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: 32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured. The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people.’ And is that ever so true my brethren; our great God never changes. He is strong and steadfast, the same yesterday, today and forever. No wonder later on Moses could truthfully declare (yeahhh!) to the people of Israel. ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ (Deut. 33:27) 

Mama Yo! What powerful scripture from our powerful God! And if you don’t want to believe it, that’s your business, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will believe. And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Now please children, please don’t make me a liar. (smile) And I like how several of these acclamations that God is a rock are found in songs of praise. Listen to this one from Isaiah. 

‘Open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages.’ (Is. 26:2-4) And we can’t end without this most appropriate scripture from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. 

Hear Bruh David expatiate on his magnificent and magnanimous God nuh. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what Bruh David did friends! And the Lord responded exactly as he said He would, saved him from his enemies. What does that tell us my people? That if we’re wise, we too will surrender our souls to Almighty God, put our most sincere trust in Him, then call on Him in faith to deliver us from our enemies and our problems. And we desperately need to do it right now, because our current problems are bamboozling us, we certainly can’t handle them on our own. Yes friends, our Creator and heavenly Father is the ONLY One who can help us in these perilous times. So let’s surrender and pray nuh. 

And we’ll go home with these beautiful and truthful words from the web site God tube. ‘Even when we may feel like we are all alone, Remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. (Heb. 13:5) He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be LOVED by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock of Ages.’ Hearing the story behind the hymn made this classic song even more powerful. What a way to worship!’ My sentiments exactly! Much LOVE!

…oh the blood…the blood of Jesus…the only sure rock to stand on… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2015 Psalm 55:22‏

Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).

So Friends, it’s Sunday, and I do hope that a significant part of our day has been allotted to going to the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship Him with other believers, for that’s what He expects of us on this first day of the week.

And some serious rest and relaxation should also be included, so that we can rise refreshed and renewed tomorrow to go out and face the heathen in the work world, strong and steadfast in the LOVE of Jesus.

Yes Friends, Sunday is possibly the most important day of the week in the lives of those Christians who celebrate the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day of rest on that day.  In fact, on whichever day you celebrate the Sabbath, that should be the most important day of the week for you, for we have been commanded to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work.’ (Ex.20:8-9)

And keeping it holy means getting together with the Father in a big way, spending most of the day resting and concentrating on Him and His wonderful promises and deeds on our behalf. And now that I’ve reminded us of all that, let’s hope that I’ve more than just piqued our interest in church and God this morning. (smile)

That means if you are physically able, you will get up and go out to church and praise and glorify God, and in return get godly encouragement, Christian fellowship and spiritual ‘upliftment’ from associating with other believers. Yeh mih breddren, associating with other believers is a very important part of our pilgrim’s journey, for Jesus wants us to be like one total, composite body, though we are individuals and all have our separate roles to play.

He’s staked His reputation on the one body, the church, made of all His followers from all parts and cultures of the earth. So please, let’s try and come together in His name nuh, rather than the serious separation we’re unfortunately witnessing these days.

And one way we can enable and ensure that that happens is by all of us seriously taking the advice of our Bit and putting it into sincere and positive action. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’

Oh Friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other supposed deity makes promises, faithful promises like that, and it is definitely in our best interest to take Him up on His word.

Now let’s look at some scriptures that support our contention. And to start, we’ll go all the way back to the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. Many blessings would befall them, if they walked in obedience to God’s Word.

Listen to Moses tell it: ‘If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do (observe) them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts (eliminate wild beasts) out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.’ (Lev.26:3-6)

Yes Friends, that is what happens when we surrender our lives to God, and walk in obedience to His will. He blesses us and our land mightily. And you can read the rest of the blessings for yourself from Leviticus 26:7-13.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 56 – a confident prayer for help. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)

Ah mih people, what powerful words of faith and encouragement! But we can only be so brave and bold when we have definitely cast all of our cares on God and are sincerely trying to do His will.

And Isaiah wisely tells us in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ (Is.26:3-4)

Yuh see my brethren, all these men of great faith had at least one thing in common; they believed in the Most High God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and displayed the utmost faith in His promises because they saw them being fulfilled.

Now why can’t you and I develop such awesome trust and faith eh? I don’t know nuh. But I do know that until we totally surrender to Jesus, cast all our cares upon Him, and be obedient to His commandments, we will not be blessed as abundantly as we can and should be.

It all depends on us now Friends; our lives will be blessed or cursed by our response and reaction to Jesus’ outpouring of LOVE.  So we have no one to blame but ourselves, for the way our lives turn out in the long run.

And to solidify all of that advice and promise, I’ll leave us with another most wonderful promise and bit of encouragement from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’(John 14:27)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, how can we not be moved by such heartfelt words of heavenly wisdom eh! Now let’s go and put them into action, so that we can become the strong body of the church that Jesus desires and is depending on, to do His will here on earth.  Much LOVE!

…surrendering our lives to Jesus…is a complete no brainer…for when we do…He faithfully grants us His wonderful blessings…