Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 July 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

Come on friends, it’s time to gather for another Sunday session of praise, worship and thanksgiving! Glory be! Sometimes I just can’t wait for Sunday to come around so we can get together to celebrate the Lord’s Day in high fashion, or low style, (smile) which ever one is more appropriate to our circumstances. 

Yes, there is just something unique and wonderful about a bunch of people from different creeds, cultures and races gathering in one place to enjoy fellowship with each other in the holy presence of our great God Jehovah. And while we give Him thanks and praise, He blesses us, gives us the strength and confidence to go out and face the world like what we truly are – children of God! 

Now, the song to open today’s proceedings is a fairly new one, written in 1970 by Ron Miller and first performed by Stevie Wonder. We’re talking about that soulful number, ‘Heaven Help Us All’, which was very appropriate back then and sadly, is still relevant to our times today. So, let’s get soulful and sincere as we offer up our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony, in a mid-tempo version, a la Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: “I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy!” 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small, Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all, Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call… Heaven help us all…’ 

And my faithful friends, do we ever need a lot of help from heaven in these very evil and calamitous times! Without help from heaven we certainly won’t make it through the dismal and disastrous days that our world is currently undergoing. What with the unprecedented amount of strife and warfare all over the globe, the immense poverty and starvation of billions of people, the poor economic outlook, made even worse by worldwide sickness and disease…

And that’s just some of the manmade stuff. When you add the natural disasters like serious drought and famine, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that seem to be more prevalent than before, possibly because of climate change, it’s easy to see why we need heavenly help…and quickly too. 

However friends, I don’t believe we will get that heavenly help as quickly as we need it unless we quickly turn back to the God of our forefathers and give up the idols and foolishness that the world sees as valuable. Remember Jesus words, His memorable advice from the Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes my bredrin, the only way to get heaven’s help is by sincerely seeking God and His righteousness. We can’t go worshipping the things of the world and doing the ungodly things the world wants us to do, and expect godly help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re only paying lip-service to God. It reminds me of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah re Israel’s blindness. ‘Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (reverence) toward me is taught by the precept of men.’ (Is. 29:13) 

Ah mih people, it’s the same thing we’re doing now that Israel did back then; simply honouring God with our mouth and lips but not our hearts. And our reverence is being ‘taught by the precept of men,’ meaning, as the scholars tell us, it’s ‘merely an intellectual accommodation. For true worship must begin with a proper reverence for God and His Word.’ 

And if we don’t do that, if we don’t wake up to the realities of life asap…then crapaud smoke we pipe. The Lord’s not going to put up with our dalliance with the devil for ever. He might be long-suffering and all that, but at some stage He’s going to say enough is enough, like He did with Israel when they became unfaithful and with so many other proud and foolish nations, who in their prosperity, turned away from Him unwisely believing that their prosperity was their own doing. 

That’s totally wrong my people. It’s the Lord’s goodness and mercy that causes a nation to prosper. And the psalmist tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ (Ps. 127:1) And I believe these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians when he talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night might just be a good wake up call for us. 

Listen closely please. ‘But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thess. 5:4-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, if we are the children of light, then we must behave as such; wake up and seriously and sincerely hold on to the trappings of our faith, and do our best to encourage others to do the same. We already have all we need to do the job, and if heaven sees that we’re serious, heaven will certainly help us. But we need to take the first step to help ourselves. Much LOVE!

…heaven won’t help us…until we start helping ourselves…that’s for sure…

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