Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2018 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26:   And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Well here we are again on a Sunday morning, hopefully getting ready to visit, or having already visited the Lord’s sanctuary to get our reassurance and strengthening for the upcoming week, through praise, worship, fellowship and hearing the Lord’s word.

And I like Bruh Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, re those calling on the name of the Lord shall be saved, especially when he asks: ‘how can they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) That’s why we have preachers! (smile) 

But before we hear the word, let’s get into some hearty praise and worship to soften our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Lord’s dialogue. And today’s song of praise is one we all know and LOVE, titled, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand.’

According to Wikipedia, it ‘is a gospel pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray from her third studio album ‘Honey, Wheat and Laughter.’ 

Wow! I knew that our very own Canadian Songbird from down the East coast had sung it, but I never knew she was the first to record it. And since then it’s been recorded numerous times by all kinds of singers and musicians.

Today, we’re going to send up a blazing, brilliant, harmonious and magnificent rendition to our heavenly Father, showing our sincere gratitude for all that He’s done for us through His Son, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s bring tears of joy to the eyes and hearts of those in heaven as we sing: (Chorus: ‘Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself, and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.) 

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble. When I read the part where the carpenter cleared the temple See those buyers and the sellers were no different fellas Than what you and I profess to be. And it causes me shame to know that man is not what he should be. (Chorus: Put your hand in the hand…) 

Hey, my mama taught me how to pray, before I reached the age of seven When I’m down on my knees, hey, I’m close to heaven. My daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do But he showed me enough of what it takes to see you through 

This is what he used to tell me… Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea Ya got’a take a good look at yourself, then you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.’ 

Magnifico my brethren, Magnifico! The eyes in heaven are all filled with tears of joy! Glory be! And believe you me, that rendition was so sweet that the Father was singing along with us, not to mention that He is also grateful for the Son’s unwavering obedience in His plan to save our undeserving souls.  

Now hear the word. The story goes like this: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) 

The answer to that question is not rocket science friends, but is quite simple: the winds and the sea obey Him because He made them and still controls them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the words of the psalmist:

‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (don’t know what to do)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

 Yes friends the seafarers know the Lord’s power, His all-around control of the wind and the sea, so they know to look to Him for succour in time of need. My brethren, we too should realize and acknowledge the Lord’s omnipotence and majesty and revere Him, surrender our lives, put our sincere trust in Him and His awesome Son, the man from Galilee, who rebuked the winds and the waves and caused them to be calm.

So let’s wise up and take His hand nuh; and hold it very tightly too, don’t ever let go!  It’s a no-brainer my people; the height of wisdom! Much LOVE!

..whose hand would you prefer to hold over Jesus’ eh…NOBODY’S…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2018 Revelation 4:11.

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

Well it’s Tuesday mih breddren, and the Thanksgiving celebrations are over for another year… No, let me take that back: the large, overt celebrations are over for another year, because thanksgiving is something that should never cease in a believer’s life. Yuh notice how even in heaven the beasts and the elders fall down on their knees and worship and give thanks to God. 

Hear this moving scripture. ‘And the four beasts (living creatures) had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not (cease) day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).’ (Rev.4:8-11) 

Yes friends, giving thanks and honour and glory to Almighty God is something that should never end! Even when we get to heaven we’ll do it, because our heavenly Father is indeed worthy of such exaltation. And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘4:6-8. The four beasts or living creatures (lit. “living ones”) are probably angels (cf. Ezek.10:15-22) who guard the throne of God. 

The eyes symbolize wisdom, and the wings depict movement. They worship God as did the seraphim in Isaiah’s vision (cf. Is.6:1-3). The lion represents strength (cf. Ps.103:20), the calf service (cf. Heb.1:14), the face of a man intelligence (cf. Luke 2:52) and the eagle swiftness (cf. Dan 9:21). The angelic vision has a strong allusion to Ezekiel 1:4-14.’ 

You have a lot of scripture to check out there friends. (smile) I just checked them out and they are indeed very interesting and make sense as the scholars explain. And per our Bit and the two verses before, the scholars tell us: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ 

That last sentence should speak very powerfully to us my brethren, making us realize just how indebted and dependent we are on our heavenly Father; the Creator and Controller of the universe! We exist at His behest and pleasure, and He can shut us down with a mere thought. 

Thankfully though, He is not a God of mere whims and fancies, but a strong and solid Deity who LOVES us to the death, although we don’t deserve it. All that we are and desire to be, depends solely on Him. That’s why I can’t understand why it’s so difficult for so many of us to truly serve and worship and give thanks to Him. 

Why do you think Bruh Paul wrote these three verses to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16:18) Because that’s exactly what the Lord desires of every believer in His Son Jesus Christ; praying, rejoicing and the giving of thanks! 

Now hear John the Revelator again as he talks about the Lion and the Lamb: ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders:  and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts (living creatures) said, amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.’ (Rev.5:11-14) 

Ah friends, what more can I say eh? If we truly believe in Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit as our Triune Deity, then it behooves us to serve and worship and give them thanks, now and forever! And we’ll go home declaring (spelled it right) our Tuesday Mantra, which tells the world who and whose we are. 

But I’ll like to add a li’l something at the beginning because many of us, though we mouth it every week, still believe that we’re what we do and what we have. I recently heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power) from whom I originally got the Mantra, make that point. And he believes we should preface it with ‘In God’s eyes:’ just to be precise. 

So here we go, in loud voice and 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!’ 

Yes my brethren, forget how the world thinks about or judges you, the only important opinion is that of Almighty God, and He LOVES us just as we are. So let’s go out and share that LOVE now, as He so greatly desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…for true believers…godly thanks and praise…exaltation, honour and glory…should constantly be in our hearts…and our tongues…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘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) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2018 Romans 5:9.

Romans 5:9.    Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Welcome, welcome to the Lord’s Day my faithful breddren! And we all know what that means: an uplifting visit to the Lord’s house, to sing and praise and worship and fellowship, hear His Word and just have a good ole time renewing our spiritual lives! Wow! There’s nothing like the faithful together singing the praises of our great and wonderful God my people! 

If you saw Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, you’d have seen how praise and worship can light up the spirits of a crowd of believers. So today, in anticipation of hearing God’s Word, let’s soften up our hearts and lighten up our spirits by singing praises to our God in this old and much LOVED hymn ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,’ written by Robert Lowry and published way back in 1876. 

So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. All together now: ‘What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.) For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) 

Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Now by this I’ll overcome; Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Now by this I’ll reach my home, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Glory! Glory! This I sing; Nothing but the blood of Jesus, All my praise for this I bring, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Nothing but the Blood…Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih people, truer words were indeed never sung or spoken, for ALL that we are is based on the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary! Without that shed blood we’d still be mired in sin for now and all eternity. As the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and, come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

In short friends, it means that ONLY the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross of Calvary can wash away my sins, cleanse my soul, allow the Father to pardon me. In Him ONLY, can I find peace and hope, righteousness, salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

Christ’s blood is the most powerful element that ever washed this earth! It atoned for our sins; justified us, sanctified us, reconciled us, made us righteous and gave us entrance to heaven’s throne room! Oh my, my! What other substance on earth can do, or could have done all of that eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE! Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

In it there is power, forgiveness, LOVE, humility, healing, patience and perseverance, so much so that after two thousand years it is still as effective as ever. Wow! The blood of Jesus! We even plead the blood of Jesus in tough times, confidently calling out to the Father for mercy because of the shed blood of His Son! But enough of me spouting off, (smile) let us quote a few scriptures that show the importance of Christ’s blood in our lives. 

And the first one that comes to mind is one that we all know: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) And that He did! Then Bruh Paul elucidates to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom.5:8-11)  

Ah friends, it seems quite complicated, but it’s really quite simple: God LOVED us so much that it broke His heart to see us headed to Hades with Lucifer, so He decided to do something about it. The only problem was that because of His holiness and justice, He couldn’t just pardon sin with a wave of His hand. Our sin had to be paid for, for want of a better term, in hard currency, (smile) and that currency under the Old Covenant was animal blood. 

As Hebrews reminds us that through Moses, the Lord commanded the Israelites to continually shed animal blood as short term atonement for their sins: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’ (Heb.9:22) So there had to be blood shed if the Lord wanted to reconcile us to Himself. And besides, the blood had to be sinless blood, and unfortunately His Son was the ONLY One who fit that bill. 

No doubt the Lord found Himself in a quandary, but He LOVED His greatest creation so much that He decided to break His own heart and offer up His one Son as the perennial sacrifice for our sins! Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. Hear how Peter puts it. ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible (perishable) things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (aimless conduct) received by tradition from your fathers. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (revealed) in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.’ (1 Pet.1:18-21) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the only wise place to place one’s faith and hope! Much LOVE!

…the shedding of Christ’s blood paid for our sins…and His resurrection pays for our eternal salvation…what a giant is our Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2018 Zechariah 4:6b.

Zechariah 4:6b.   Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

‘Heat wave! It’s a heat wave! Yes a heat wave!’ Ah friends, the summer heat wave continues on this Tuesday morning after our hearty Canada Day celebrations, and the reality of work hits us once again. (smile) And I believe the searing heat might continue all week. As they say, be careful of what you wish for. We wished for summer weather, and we’re getting truly summer weather. 

That brings me to a poem I want to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘The Task’, and it resembles our reality so much that I just had to share it. Please read with me: ‘Lord, You give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. 

Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By your own magnificent power. Then you praise the performance Your creativity achieved And you reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself My Father.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that just how our wonderful heavenly Father behaves! He gives us something to do that seems impossible and we want to run and hide, escape somehow from doing it because it just boggles our imagination. But then, in His LOVING-kindness, our Father steps in and lends a hand, guides us, and sometimes does most of the hard work, until we accomplish the seemingly impossible task He assigned us. 

And then, wonder of wonders, He gives us much praise and glory and reward, as though we had done it all on our lonesome! Wow! How wonderful is He eh! 

Mankind always want to take the glory for what they do, but our heavenly Father shares it with us, so that we can be encouraged and grow in faith and LOVE, because in the natural, we can’t do very much on our own. That’s why He never gives us more than we can do, and when our tasks seem overwhelming, He steps in and helps us to accomplish them. Now that’s the kind of God I can LOVE and revere, and praise and give thanks to! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today, the awesome verse from the prophet Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ 

Yes my faithful breddren, our omnipotent God from way back when, does most of His work quietly and efficiently through the third part of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit that now indwells us. You won’t see a lot of huffing and puffing and exaggerated action, just a cool and powerful mystique as it were. That just shows the awesome power that resides in the Godhead that we serve and worship! And so it should be, otherwise there’s no reason to worship it. 

Now hear this scripture from Hosea that emphasizes God’s unreal power. Per the unfaithful people of Judah, He promised: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos.1:7) 

Glory be mih people! The Lord doesn’t have to use man, nor animals, nor manmade implements to fight and win battles for us! He simply uses His Holy Spirit; what I term the Worker Bee of the Holy Trinity, because He does ALL the work that’s necessary in the Father’s domain. 

But unfortunately too many of us don’t pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, even though He now dwells in us and is there to lead and guide us in righteousness. That’s why we so often go astray. The problem is that the Holy Spirit will not shout and bark at us, but will gently whisper to our spirit, letting us know what’s right from wrong. So if we don’t listen carefully, and don’t know the word, it’s easy to bypass the Spirit’s guiding. 

That’s why it’s so essential my brethren to know God’s word and to pay attention to what His Spirit is saying and doing within us, because that’s how He generally communicates with us. It’s all through the Holy Spirit friends! So to grow and mature in the faith, we need to be more circumspect in listening to and learning of and from the hard working Spirit of God that lives in us and is continually sharing the Father’s intentions with us. 

And it just doesn’t happen overnight, or by osmosis, (smile) but by diligent study and sincere determination. So true wisdom dictates that we start paying better and more serious attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing within us. End of sermon! 

Now for those of us who are serious about communicating with the Father through His Spirit, let’s go home today declaring our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the world who and whose we are. 

In one, strong and enthusiastic voice now: ‘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 as always, the corollary to that mantra is to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the Spirit of God works within us…to show us the intentions of God…

 

 

 

 

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