Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2020 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    ​And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
So it’s the first Monday of the new year, how are we going to greet it eh? How are we going to operate on this opening day of the first full work week of 2020? Are we going to be sour and miserable and tired like we’ve been for a lot of the year just past? I do hope that since most of us have resolved to walk closer with Jesus this year, that most of us will also adopt a better attitude, through regular fellowship and better rest programmes, so that we can bear plenty good fruit for Him. 

And yes, I know that we’ll have some backsliders every week, because that’s just the nature of the human animal. (smile) But we’ll always have a backup plan to lend strong support, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And I suspect that plenty of us will need it today since we’re still recuperating from the season’s celebrations. (smile) 

So as one strong and confident voice, let’s float our prayer up to heaven. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And almost immediately, we feel the Holy Spirit moving within us to give us what we asked for. Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! And why are we so confident in our prayers eh? John explains it thus in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

Mama Mia! What other faith has such a built in confidence builder eh? None. As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (v.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’  Now that’s the fly in the ointment my faithful brethren: we have to ask for stuff that fall’s within God’s will. So we can’t afford to be too frivolous and ask for stuff that’s carnal minded. 

And John furthermore states in an earlier chapter, as he discusses LOVING one another, not merely in talk, but in deed and in truth. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:19-22) 

And what does all of that mean? We’ll let the scholars explain it: ‘3:19. Cain (v. 12) was “of that wicked one”, believers are of the truth. And hereby: John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (preceding verses).’ Yes friends, believers ought to be involved in the truth, in faith as well as deeds. 

‘3:20. In light of John’s strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4) and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.’ And the intentions and motives of our hearts are ever so important in our faith walk my people, because that’s what God judges us by, not simply our outward actions. 

‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! A successful prayer life cannot be had without a righteous daily life. And I think that’s a fitting note to end on today. So please, let’s sincerely ponder our prayer lives based on the above facts nuh, and try to come up higher this year of 2020, with the Lord’s help of course!  Much LOVE!

…confidence in God…comes from knowing His truth…and living according to His will…

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