Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.     ​Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends there’s nothing better to awaken to than a clean earth that’s been well washed by divine showers of blessings during the night, and then opens as a bright and sunshiny day. Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s an added sparkle to the morning, as when silver is polished to a heightened state. (smile) Well that’s the kind of day with which we’ve been blessed in my area on this lazy, late summer Saturday. And since it’s Saturday, I guess I should turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is certainly interesting: ‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’ Now that’s what you call gospel truth, because none of us ever knows if our next breath may be our last. The Grim reaper can come calling so suddenly, that we need to continually remember the vapour that life is. As James puts it: ‘Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:14) And Job, when he remonstrates with God, solemnly declares (yeah!): ‘O remember that my life is wind…’ (Job 7:7) 

That just goes to show how frail and uncertain our lives can be. Consequently, this next quote can certainly help us in that regard. ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’ Ah mih people, those two words, ‘thank you,’ are possibly the best two we can ever say to God or man. Now I’m assuming that the author of that quote doesn’t mean the one single prayer you’ve ever said in your entire life, and that you’ve never said another, (smile) but that ‘thank you’ is the prayer you say continually, and nothing else. 

Under those circumstance I believe that God will be extremely pleased, because all He asks of us is to be thankful and grateful for the life and blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, especially the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus says, we don’t need to prayer long prayers. ‘But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ (Matt. 6:7) Now that doesn’t mean that our every prayer should be only a few words, but generally speaking, babbling on like the heathen are accused of doing, doesn’t mean our prayers will be heard or answered any quicker. 

That leads to the following quote, which does a marvellous job of explaining how our lives ought to be ordered. Listen up carefully. ‘It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.’ Oh friends, oh friends, what wonderful truth is contained in those words, and if we were to ever follow it, our lives would be different like night and day! 

And it’s so sad to realize that the habits of gratefulness and thankfulness are fading fast away from our greedy, selfish, godless and immoral society. For some of us, saying thank you, or showing gratefulness is like pulling teeth without the use of anesthetic! Being grateful for all that we have, or have done, which makes us who we are, has become anathema to our society, and has been replaced by the cult of entitlement. Yes, entitlement now rules the roost my brethren! We are now entitled to everything! 

But let’s remember the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians nuh: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) That means, as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. A believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

And to the Ephesians, re the ways of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear (reverence) of God.’ (Eph. 5:20-21). Meanwhile to the Colossians, he said: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) How much more do we need to hear for it to sink in and take active root in our lives eh my people? 

And this last quote covers, or encapsulates all the others. ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ And is that the living truth! My precious people of God, when we begin counting our blessings, instead of our adversity, then the whole mood, mode and tempo of our lives change for the better. Our vibes then become positive and not negative and we look forward to life each and every day, although we know that it won’t always run as smoothly as we desire. 

But that’s the Spirit of God then working in us to lighten and brighten our days. As the song ‘Count Your Blessings’ so wonderfully puts it: ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done…’ Why don’t we try doing that today my fellow saints in Christ, rather than dwelling on the negatives in our lives eh? That’s wisdom to the nth degree. And we all know that wisdom is the principal thing. Much LOVE!

…nothing beats a grateful and thankful heart… 

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