Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2018 Psalm 95:1.

Psalm 95:1.   O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

So it’s Tuesday friends! What’s new and exciting eh? And you grouchily mumble; ‘same old, same old.’ But that’s not really true, for we have a brand new day to live, courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous God; a day filled with brand new mercies, grace, forgiveness and LOVE! 

So how can that be the same old, same old eh? Wake up mih breddren, let’s give the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, Controller and Provider some sincere thanks and praise for bringing us through another dark night into a sunny day, filled with the everlasting brilliance of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! 

And to help us do just that, here is a reminder from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, letting us know that no problem is permanent. He says: ‘Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has its low point. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys. 

No one is up all the time, nor are they down all the time. Problems do end. They do go away. They are all resolved in time… Storms always give way to the sun. Winter always thaws into springtime. Your storm will pass. Your winter will thaw. Your problem will be resolved.’ And it’s all true my people! 

So with all that in mind, let’s pray with Gramps Schuller nuh. ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, this earthly life is not easy, but with God’s help we can have hope and faith and keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight of faith, turning our problems into gold mines. (smile) 

And as I opened the Good Book to find a suitable Bit for today, this is what jumped out at me: ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:1-5) 

Oh my faithful believing brethren, those are words of indisputable, inescapable truth! So why aren’t we giving our great God the enormous thanks and praise and reverence He so rightfully deserves eh? I guess we’ve either gotten too comfortable in receiving His LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness, that we now take it all for granted and don’t bother to give much thanks for them. Or on the other hand, we simply don’t believe. 

Ah friends, either path is fraught with danger. We give plenty thanks to our fellow men who give us worldly, destructible things, so why not to our Creator and Provider eh, who gives us worldly as well as spiritual things, and so much more than any man? 

Oh my breddren, it behooves us to show plenty gratitude to our wonderful God for undeserved blessings, or those blessings might just stop coming. And if we don’t believe, then we won’t get the blessings and suffer the pangs and numerous injustices of this evil and ungodly world all on our own. Now, even with God’s help, that’s not an easy thing to do, so can you imagine trying to fight this world all on your lonesome? I certainly can’t. 

So please, let’s be wise nuh, let’s get wisdom and understanding, the principal things we need as believers. And when we do that, then we’ll be able to truthfully and sincerely declare like the psalmist: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

Oh my people, my people, that is what we were made for: to have fellowship with our maker; to LOVE and cherish Him, like He does us. Therefore, as the psalmist encourages, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion at Meribah), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’ (Ps.95:8-9) 

Oh friends, that was so foolish of our forefathers, for look at what happened as a consequence of that foolish act. ‘Forty years long was I grieved (I was disgusted) with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart (go astray), and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:10-11) 

And so said, so done! Only TWO of the millions who left Egypt, Caleb and Joshua, entered the Promised Land because of their disobedience and refusal to take God seriously. They wandered aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years until they all died out. Even Moses, the great man of God, only saw it from afar. 

Oh friends, what wasted lives those were. Please, I implore us, please don’t let us become like those Israelites of old nuh, just wandering aimlessly in this world because of our disobedience or unbelief. Instead, let’s be praiseworthy and strong under the unconquerable banner of God! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

The next move then is to go and share Christ’s LOVE, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…fools despise wisdom…but wise men praise God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2018 Psalm 90:4.

Psalm 90:4.   For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours).

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The awesome day we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, worship and give Him mucho thanks and praise. So all roads ought to be leading to the Lord’s house today, especially when we consider what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

Yeh friends, the Sabbath is a day to find rest in Jesus, and you can’t find it unless you go to Him sincerely seeking Him. He’s just waiting there with open arms for us to come to Him. So let’s not keep Him waiting nuh. And today, we’ll begin the proceedings with an old favourite from the pen of Isaac Watts, ‘O (Our) God, our help in ages past.’ 

So without further ado, let’s raise our hearts, heads and voices heavenward as we offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving to our amazing and ever-LOVING God!  ‘O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. 

Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Oh my people, what we’ve just sung is oh so true; every word of it! And they say it was based on Psalm 90, the psalm of Moses, and that seems to be also true, as Moses declares with unerring truth: ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)

Mama Yo! What words of indisputable truth! Before God even formed the world He was God! And since He made Israel His people, they found refuge in Him, when they were wise! And who should know better than Moses eh, since he led God’s people out of bondage from Egypt to the Promised Land, and communicated God’s laws to them during that fateful trip through the wilderness. 

And as Moses continues: ‘Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours). Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.’ (Ps.90:3-6) 

Yeh friends, in terms of time, one day to us is like a thousand years to God, since time has no real reckoning with Him. And as Peter corroborates in his message on living in the hope of the Lord’s coming: ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet.3:8) 

Then we come back to Moses, who declares: ‘The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (seventy); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ (Ps.90:10)  

All of that just means friends that our lives are like vapour, we exist for moment in God’s eyes then we are gone, like the grass that grows in the morning and dies in the evening. And even if we live fourscore (80) years (29,200 days) that to God is like 29,200 years. Imagine that nuh; to us 80 years is a big deal, but to Almighty God, it’s a mere flash in the pan. (smile) 

The long and short of the story though friends, is that we are very finite, while God is infinite, plus He is our God and Creator and if we are smart we will hold on to His strong and mighty hand. And Moses was qualified to talk about death and all the other stuff since he saw a whole generation of Israelites perish in the wilderness for their disobedience. 

Thus, when he beseeches God, we ought to listen, to pay serious attention. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom)…. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ (Ps.90:12,14) 

And we’ll close with some immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she hall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So please, please, let’s seek wisdom and understanding through the Lord’s word, which leads to obedience, then we’ll be bestowed with the grace and glory we so greatly desire. Much LOVE!

…the only real wisdom that man needs…is to be obedient to his God and his Creator…everything else is foolishness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2018 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2 Corinthians 9:8.    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

It’s Sunday once again friends, the Lord’s Day, and all roads lead to His sanctuary, to praise, worship, fellowship, hear His word and receive strength and confidence to go out and do His work with diligence and excellence in the upcoming week! 

And that’s partly why the Bit is this late; the ole fella finally darkened the church’s door after about three or four weeks of absence. Hn! I can’t remember being that long away from church for several years now. Anyway, we’re back, and did enjoy the fellowship and the reading of the word. 

And as always, on Sundays we begin by opening our mouths, and lifting up our voices in songs of worship and praise. It helps to soften our hearts for the word that comes later. (smile) And today’s song of praise is simply titled ‘Our God is able.’ And that’s an undeniable fact. So let’s belt it out with sincere hearts and strong voices. 

‘Our God is able. He will never fail. He is Almighty God. Greater than all we seek. Greater than all we ask. (Chorus: He has done great things. Lifted up. He defeated the grave. Raised to life. Our God is able. In His name we overcome. For the Lord, Our God is able.) 

God is with us. God is on our side. He will make a way. Far above all we know. Far above all we hope. (Chorus) God is with us. He will go before us. He will never leave us. He will never leave us. God is for us. He has open arms. He will never fail us. He will never fail us. (Chorus -repeat).’ 

Oh friends, every word we sang there is indeed gospel truth, for our God is indeed able, as Bruh Paul declared to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! 

And if you don’t believe, just look at what happened on the Day of Pentecost, which the church is celebrating today. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5)

…But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

Yeh friends, who could make such a remarkable promise and keep it eh? ONLY our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And we read it every year at Pentecost time, but it still boggles our imagination. 

The Good Book says that on the Day of Pentecost, ‘they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Wow, mih people! Can you imagine that scene back in ole Jerusalem on that first day of Pentecost? It must have been really wild, since there were oodles of people in Jerusalem at that time, many of them foreign born, and when the disciples emerged from their house and began to speak in several languages, so that those foreign born could understand in their own languages. Mama Yo! It must have been almost cataclysmic! (smile) 

‘Now when this was noised abroad (the sound of the wind occurred) the multitude came together and were confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect) wherein we were born? …And they were all amazed and, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this?’ (Acts 2:6-8, 12-13) 

Oh fellow believers, ONLY our God is great enough to turn things on their head like that! But as always there are disbelievers and mockers, who said that the men were drunk. But Peter got up and preached his finest sermon that day, informing them that it was the coming to pass of an old promise of our God, from the days of the prophet Joel: 

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:17,21) 

Yeh mih people, the Lord promised many other signs and wonders within that passage, but the most important was the last one; that whosoever should call on His name will be saved. Glory Hallelujah! The most glorious promise in the Good Book! 

And that also marked the beginning of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within every believer to lead and guide them in the ways of the Lord. So it’s obvious that our God is able my brethren…able to do all that’s necessary to keep us going. Please don’t ever doubt God’s ability, and give Him plenty thanks and praise, for that is wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!

…if God could speak the world into existence…what other mighty works can’t He do eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2018 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    According to your faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s the big day, Sunday, the time we make our way to the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship and worship and receive reassurance and confidence in our faith walk.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it today because of my illness, but my Pastor, Fr. Jeff has promised to come and visit and give me communion after church. So I’m still in the loop. (smile) 

Anyway, as usual, let’s get prepared to hear the word, soften our hearts, by offering up some praise and worship to heaven. And today we’ll offer up that old spiritual song from the movie ‘Student Prince,’ made famous by Mario Lanza. It’s called ‘I’ll walk with God,’ and is such a beautiful way of reaffirming our faith, in this most appropriate time of spring rebirth and a troubled world. 

Let’s sing my brethren, with sincere hearts and strong lungs. ‘I’ll walk with God from this day on. His helping hand I’ll lean upon. This is my prayer, my humble plea, May the Lord be ever with me. There is no death, tho’ eyes grow dim. There is no fear when I’m near to Him. I’ll lean on Him forever And He’ll forsake me never. 

He will not fail me As long as my faith is strong, Whatever road I may walk along. I’ll walk with God, I’ll take His hand. I’ll talk with God, He’ll understand. I’ll pray to Him, each day to Him And He’ll hear the words that I say. His hand will guide my throne and rod And I’ll never walk alone While I walk with God.’ 

And is all of that ever so true my people! If we walk faithfully with God, He’ll look after us. That’s his promise! And He doesn’t ever break promises. I particularly like that last line, about I’ll never walk alone, while I walk with Him. Glory be people! What an awesome statement of truth! 

But first, before all of the above can happen, we need to have the faith to submit, to completely surrender our lives to Him, because God wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our lives. He can’t be included in some things and not in others. And that’s where the problems come in. We either don’t have faith, or we suffer from weak faith, but a sincere and successful walk with God requires strong faith. 

Oh I know that faith is a process, a continuum along which we grow, from glory to glory, but we have to make the solid, and conscious commitment to do it. We can’t be wishy- washy and stop, or faint as soon as problems arise, because its those same problems that cause our faith to grow. Yeh friends, unfortunately faith only grows by experiencing God’s LOVE, mercy and favour at work in our lives, especially during the rough periods. 

And to show that I know what I’m talking about (smile) listen to this testimony. It’s been a year and half since I’ve been diagnosed with head and heart problems, and in the natural, you’d expect them to be fixed much sooner than they have been. 

Oh, only the head problem has been fixed so far, and that just last week, the heart still remains an enigma. I went into the hospital a month ago to fix the heart problem, but some other thing cropped up and they changed their minds. I’m still waiting to hear from them. 

But what amazes me is that everybody claimed I was so sick, but yet they had me traipsing from hospital to doctor to heart clinic and back again, taking all different kinds of medication and nothing was getting done. Now I could have given up hope and said, ‘Chuh! Forget all this nonsense yes!’ 

But I didn’t, because I’ve been walking with God long enough now to understand that He will keep His promise to work everything out for our good, but in His own time. That’s the cut-tail part about walking with God; in His own time. And unfortunately, His time is seldom our time. He uses these opportunities to grow our faith. 

So if you’re going through some tough and dark times, please, please don’t give up or lose faith. The Lord WILL see you through eventually. He’s just checking to see if you’re truly into Him, as you claim. It isn’t easy people, but our God is faithful, that much I can tell you for sure. And if He sees that you’re willing to take up your cross and walk with Him, without a doubt, He’ll help you to carry it, just like He sent Simon the Cyrene, to help Jesus carry His on that fateful day. (smile) 

He will NEVER leave you in the lurch. And until you sincerely believe that, your faith won’t grow. If you want to work for God, you better had be prepared to suffer stuff, because he doesn’t want people without the necessary experiencing telling His people a whole set of Anansi stories, on subjects they know nothing about. That’s why, most of the stuff I tell you, I can vouch for it from personal experience. 

And I have to chuckle here, because this was never meant to be a personal testimony, but that’s what the Lord apparently wanted. And who am I to say him nay eh? (smile) 

And we’ll end with this most pertinent scripture, when two blind men came to Jesus to receive their sight. ‘And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.’ (Matt.9:28-29) 

Yes friends, according to the level of our faith, the Lord will work in our lives. It’s as simple as that. He’ll meet us at whatever point we are, but we have to first believe that He can do what He’s promised. That’s what faith is all about. Much LOVE!

…faith is believing without seeing…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.   O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Top o’ the morn my fellow believers! It’s that wonderful day, Sunday, which means the gathering of Christians all over the world in the Lord’s sanctuary. And that can be any of the following; a magnificent cathedral, a small church, a house, a hovel, a palace, or under a coconut tree, wherever we can gather, to worship and give immeasurable thanks to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

Yes friends, wherever God’s people are gathered that’s His sanctuary, for He is there in full regal presence. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His holy name, for He is a great God, and indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

And in keeping with that truthful sentiment, let’s open today’s celebrations with this most appropriate hymn ‘How great thou art.’  It’s a hymn apparently based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg, pastor, poet and politician (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. 

After a brief thunderstorm, it’s reputed that he opened his window and saw a rainbow gilding the sky and all of God’s nature creations shining bright and fresh having been cleansed by the rain. Supposedly modelled after Psalm 8; Bruh David’s words exalting God’s glory and man’s honour, it was first translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. Later on, it was further translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine. 

So in strong voice and total harmony, let’s offer up this favourite hymn to our heavenly father, through the sacrificial praise of our lips.  ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

(Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ (repeat). 

Ah mih people, what wonderful and truthful words of praise, worship and adoration to our mighty God. That makes the opening words of Bruh David’s psalm a perfect Bit for today. ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

And there can be no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of those adoring words! For He is the ONLY truly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being in this whole universe. He created it, it belongs entirely to Him, and He controls it as He sees fit. Glory to God! 

And Bruh David continues to prove his contention. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention, or care for) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’ (Ps. 8:2-5) 

Ah friends, it ought to be obvious why God cares for us. In the first place He created us in His image and gave us His breath of life, so that we could worship Him and have a positive and productive relationship with Him.

From the day He created our forefathers, Adam and Eve, He’s LOVED us with His whole heart, and though He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, when they disobeyed His command, He never stopped LOVING His human creation nuh, we stopped LOVING Him. 

So it’s not rocket science why He did as Bruh David further describes. ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ (Ps.8:6-8) 

And why not eh? We are His most precious creation, the only earthly being He created that has the ability to communicate with Him. Just like we LOVE our disobedient and trying children, our Creator LOVES us the same way – and even more.

So let’s remember to continually thank and praise Him for all the good things He’s done for us down through the ages, is currently doing, and has faithfully promised to do in the future. And we’ll end like Bruh David did, with a shout of heartfelt praise: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.’ (Ps.8:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools and mad men…refuse to praise and worship their Creator…

 

 

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