Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 May 2022 John 13:34.

John 13:34.      A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. 

Come on friends, let’s see some Christ-like smiles on those faces on this beautiful spring Thursday nuh! Christ is LOVE, the Good Book says so (1 John 4:8) and the first appearance of LOVE from us should be a smile! Yes, my brethren our Christian faith walk all begins with a smile, for when we realize all the marvellous and miraculous benefits we have in and from Jesus, and they all start to flow out of us, there must be a smile of joy accompanying them, otherwise, how are people going to know that we are happy in Jesus eh? 

So, if there is true joy in our souls, then it will show on our faces through a smile. And it’s sad, pathetic really, the number of sour faced, miserable, unhappy looking supposed Christians walking about the planet! Some of them falsely believing that they are pilgrims and pilgrims suffer, so they need to look like what the cat dragged in. 

But that’s not true friends. For even if you are a supposed pilgrim and life’s rough, with all the wonderful stuff that Jesus has given us and placed in our hearts and souls, the joy, which is the strength of the Lord and the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s been planted in us and growing beautifully like the new spring grass, must manifest itself in our behaviour, starting with a big smile and a heavenly look on our faces. 

Remember what Jesus said about the stuff that comes out of a man? ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And that’s how it ought to be with believers, the good stuff of Jesus coming out of our mouths and lighting up our faces with His joy. ‘As the song says: ‘Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus, when Jesus washed, when my Jesus washed all my sins away!’ 

Now, that day and that action ought to be always percolating in our souls and spirits, and cause us to live rejoicing every day. And rejoicing means letting the joy in our soul and spirit being made manifest on the outside, beginning with a glow on our faces and Christ-like actions reaching out to those with whom we come into contact. That brings us to these fateful and very crucial words of Jesus to His disciples, when he said unto them. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yes, my fellow believers, the world will only recognize us as true disciples of Jesus if we show the LOVE He showed to us, toward each other. And sadly, that’s not happening as much as it should because many of us supposed Christians don’t even talk to one another because we are of a different religion or denomination, we have a different doctrine or some such nonsense. But the only doctrine in Jesus’ book is LOVE, and LOVE is an action-based reality, you can’t just talk it, but must show it, like Jesus said back there, if we want to be His true disciples. 

And He said it to them again later on. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) And I like how John sets it all out in his first epistle, when he talks about tests of true knowledge. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are ever so important in our walk of faith because they testify of our genuine knowledge of God, of true discipleship, which can only be accomplished by obedience to Christ’s commandments. It must be a conscious and enduring effort, for the true ‘test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ And the scholars explain verse 6 thus. They say: ‘Even as he walked refers to Jesus’ earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus’ atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others. See John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21.’ 

And just to refresh our memories, (smile) let’s look at those two scriptures. In John 13:15, Jesus says to the disciples after washing their feet. ‘For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’ Then Peter corroborates that statement when he writes. ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) 

Oh my people, are we doing those kinds of things like Jesus did, or at least attempting to live that way? Hopefully, our answer to that will be a decisive YES! And if it’s not, then we are not living for Christ and are not His true disciples and need to change our lifestyles if we truly want to be made over in His image. And the great thing about Jesus is that when we truly desire and try to live for Him, He showers us with numerous blessings to help us do just that. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and when we declare them out loud, they serve to refuel and renew our hearts and souls, so that we can go out and do His work with new enthusiasm and LOVE. 

So, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to go out and generously use those blessings to serve others, just as generously as Christ shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but LOVE…that’s action…calls for sacrifice…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 May 2022 Psalm 125:2.

Psalm 125:2.      As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. 

Well, lovely days seem to be here again friends! Glory Hallelujah! But unfortunately, the dandelions, who don’t miss a trick, (smile) are also pushing their weedy yellow heads up through the new green spring grass, causing much dissatisfaction to lawn owners. But although they are considered weeds, I like them, like the bright yellow colour they provide to the fresh spring atmosphere. 

But best of all, with these warmer days arriving, I will now be able to sit on my porch in the afternoons and watch the world go by, as well as sit there in the quiet of the early morning hours and commune with my wonderful Maker. And it’s an interesting communication, because we don’t talk much, we just let the silence wash over us, and the beauty of nature fill our souls with a peaceful joy. 

That’s one thing I miss a lot during the many cold and dreary winter months. And why shouldn’t we just sit in quiet and peaceful companionship eh, when as the song says, ‘All my hope is in Jesus. Thank God my yesterday’s gone, All my sins are forgiven, And I’ve been washed by the blood.’ 

Mama Mia! Life couldn’t get any better than that my people! And that’s what we all get when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour; forgiven sins and a soul washed and cleansed in His Holy blood. We also receive His awesome peace and joy, and the promise of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven or wherever He chooses to reside (smile). 

So why do so many of us refuse to accept His invitation to come to Him and lay all our burdens and heavy loads at His feet and receive the rest for both our bodies and souls that He alone can provide? The overwhelming refusal of His Great Invitation just boggles my imagination, for the enemy has nothing to compare with what Jesus’ offers. ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Satan’s yoke and burden are exactly the opposite of Jesus’ – hard and heavy. So why are so many of us still fighting ourselves and each other to live under Satan’s hard yoke and heavy burden eh? I wish I knew, then I might be able to convince us of the folly of that decision. 

Remember, whatever Satan enables us to have down here, like earthly wealth and power, we cannot take when we depart this life, and we’ll just end up in the fiery halls of hell with him. But the things that we get from Jesus, like peace, joy, LOVE and salvation, we carry them into eternal life with us, to dwell with Him right down through eternity. There’s nothing to compare with that friends! But I guess that our sinful nature is so strong within us that we like to dabble in it, enjoy its fleshly lusts, it’s pride and greed, it’s strife and resentment, as the evil one feeds our minds with his iniquitous thoughts and schemes. 

And yes, we all know that it’s not easy to live a righteous life in this sinful world, constantly bombarded by the enemy’s devious and evil machinations, but if we sincerely turn to Jesus, He will surely help us with those problems. That’s His faithful promise. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, in simple terms, we all fall under the burden of temptation, but our caring and compassionate God will not allow us to bear more temptation than we can handle. He will either find a way for us to escape it, or give us the necessary tools to endure it. In any case, no temptation will overwhelm us if we put our faith and trust in Jesus. He will give us the wherewithal to handle them all. And these words of encouragement from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people – just add to our faith and strength in Christ Jesus. 

Please read with me. ‘’They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous (the land allotted to the righteous); lest the righteous put forth (reach out) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

That’s gospel truth my people! And please remember what Cousin Sol says about iniquity workers. ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod (sceptre) of his wrath (anger) shall fail.’ (Prov. 22:8) It’s for certain sure that the iniquity workers will eventually be destroyed when the Lord thinks it’s time. So mih bredin, how much more do we need before we believe eh, before we surrender completely to Jesus, our Maker, our God, Creator, Provider, Saviour and Friend? He even went so far as to come to earth as a man and selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be forgiven, made righteous, be reconciled to the Father and have the option of salvation. 

And we’ll let this awesome truth He spoke linger in our hearts as we wind down today. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And He called us friends before He went to His death on the cross on our behalf.  I don’t know what else to say to convince us that Jesus is real and His promises are ever-faithful. As Jesus also said: ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt. 11:15) Words of eternal wisdom from our Saviour. 

Now for those of us who believe and are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now don’t forget that if we endure with Jesus to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please, please, let’s endure nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…God has faithfully promised…never to leave nor forsake us…and He keeps all of His promises… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 May 2022 Proverbs 29:18.

Proverbs 29:18.      Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

So, what’s new this spring Tuesday morning in May of 2022 eh friends? A sunny day when the trees all seem to be finally blooming, putting on their new look of bright green for the upcoming season, returning to an energetic life after remaining dormant for so long in the cold, dreary depths of winter. 

And I know that most of us would reply ‘same old, same old,’ to the above question. But what’s really wrong with same old eh? Nothing at all! Because that’s what life is all about; that’s how we learn, by repetition. If we had a new situation every day we wouldn’t know or learn anything. And sadly, that’s how it’s shaping up these days when we are all hungering and clamouring for something new, and quickly getting bored and frustrated although we have so many new toys to keep us occupied. 

In our recent rush for speed, we’ve developed very short attention spans, which make us quickly disenchanted with new stuff. But let me put this other question to us. What do you think will, or would have happened to us if our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had a short attention span, and was easily bored and frustrated like us eh? We’d certainly be left out in the rain, in the dark, in the cold, without a safe place to shelter. 

But thankfully Jesus is strong and steadfast, and not worried about the same old, same old that He does by constantly saving us from making foolish mistakes and interceding for us every day to His Father. So please, let’s get wise and give up this foolish rush for speed and change nuh, because it’s causing us to lose the ability to truly enjoy life, the abundant, same old life that Christ died for us to have. 

Our appreciation for the things and people in our lives are plummeting each day, because we have so many things, we can’t keep count or enjoy them properly. And as per people, too many relationships these days are only surface deep, so false and plastic, that there’s little trust and true enjoyment to be found in them. And sadly, the relationships and situations that words like loyalty and honour breed are quietly disappearing from our vocabulary and society. How unfortunate my people, because those are the basic things that make a society rich and powerful and enjoyable, without their members having to keep a constant watch for dishonor and disloyalty which are rife in our world today. 

When a society has lost its trustworthiness then it’s on its way down. When a person’s word is no longer sacred, when even the laws can be successfully manipulated to cause hurt and dishonour, then that society is no longer growing like a strong, tall and steadfast cedar of Lebanon, but is withering like a cursed fig tree. And believe me, withering like a cursed fig tree happens much quicker than the growth of a cedar of Lebanon. So, once a society gets on that path of destruction, its demise happens rather quickly. 

And that’s why proper leadership is ever so important for a society or any organization to function properly. No wonder Cousin Sol says in his wisdom that:’ ‘Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) And that’s the indisputable truth! Where there is no moral or divine inspiration in leadership, then people cast off restraint and do whatever they feel like. 

Sadly, that’s exactly what’s happening in our world today. Our leaders seem more interested in a grab for power, self-aggrandization and war-mongering than in building a moral and godly civilization. We’re even trying to remove God from our society, so why should we be surprised at the way our world is going since, as the scholars tell us: ‘Morality is based on adherence to God’s revealed will.’ And if there’s no God, then there can’t be any revealed will. 

And unfortunately, all that we’ve spoken of above is reflected in these few words of author Adrian McCullen in an article titled ‘Where there is no vision the people perish,’ on the website medium.com. He writes: ‘Society has reached a stage where more people are dying from abundance than from lack. Obesity and obesity-related illnesses kill more people than starvation. People are at a point where their basic needs have been met.’ That’s in our western based societies. 

And we see the perfect example of the lack of divine vision and inspiration in the state of Israel when the Lord called Samuel. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days, there was no open vision.’ (1 Sam. 3:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘The severity of Israel’s apostasy (rejection of God)  (cf. Jud. 21:25) caused a dearth of God’s revelatory work. The condition was perpetuating and self-defeating. (cf. Prov. 29:18) By God’s grace, the prophetic institution would receive impetus and standardization in the person and work of Samuel. (cf. 3:21; 19:20) 

Ah friends, our current world is now almost like that of Israel back then. And that reference to Judges 21:25 in the scholars’ explanations spells it out in spades. It says: ‘In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ And unfortunately, that’s the same philosophy that’s taking hold in our current society. The moral law of God is being rejected for that which we consider appropriate to our personal needs. 

So why the surprise when we discover that our world is sinking into the morass, of death and decay eh? When we do our own thing and don’t follow God’s law, we will suffer and eventually perish, unless we come to our senses like Israel did under Samuel. It’s as simple as that. So, for those of us who are trying to live the righteous life, as set out in God’s law, let’s go home now declaring (yessss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Now it behooves us to go and do just that; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those we meet, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…God’s law works to build up…man’s law to destroy…   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 May 2022 Lamentations 3:31.

Lamentations 3:31.      For the Lord will not cast off for ever. 

Oh my people, it’s been a somewhat rough beginning to the Monday morning. For the last four or five days I’ve been plagued with some stomach problems, that’s why the Bit has been so late. It seems that if the stomach is not working properly, the mind won’t function well either. (smile) And thankfully, we are on the road to recovery…we hope. And the Lord in His great care and concern has just caused the duchess to bring me some porridge and dry toast to assist in alleviating the problem. Ah friends, between the both of them I certainly can’t go wrong. (smile) 

And that’s why, when the Good Book opened just now on this awesome scripture of promise, I simply had to use it. It comes from that awesome Chapter 3 of Jeremiah’s Lamentations, when he was undergoing some persecution and difficulties as he tried to do God’s work. However, despite his problems, at one stage he earnestly claimed: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.’ (Lam. 3:31-34) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, though our God might sometimes allow us to be smitten with the bread of affliction, He will never cast us off forever. Because that’s just not His nature, not His style; He’s a genuinely merciful, forgiving, caring and compassionate God. That’s who He is! And, if like me, today you are embroiled in some kind of difficulty that you can’t fix, or doesn’t seem to want to go away, then please do like me too and have hope, be a ‘prisoner of hope,’ turn to the Lord and sincerely ask for His help, for as the sons of Korah truthfully declare in Psalm 46: ‘God is our refuge  and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Ps. 46:1) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Our God is indeed an abundantly available help in time of trouble. And though He might not deliver us immediately, or the way we desire, He will help us get through whatever is dogging our footsteps. Don’t worry, I need to believe that too because this stomach problem is certainly painful and annoying, like a li’l mouse just gnawing away at my insides. But it’s also very distracting, not allowing me to concentrate properly on the things I seek to do. Anyway, with the Lord’s help, I know that it will eventually pass, and I will return to normal…it’s just taking so long though. (smile) 

That’s why we say, and believe, that this too shall pass. Jesus reminds us that ‘Heaven and earth, shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt. 24:35) And when we believe that, we gain the strength to understand and accept that our problems, though real and difficult, will not last forever. As one contributing writer to the website, ibelieve.com, Debbie McDaniel writes in an article on the subject. ‘The great news is this: God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in difficult times. He promises to be with us in all that we face, and His whole heart encompasses our pain, surrounds us in peace, and gives us incredible hope and grace to keep pressing through.’ 

Now that ought to reassure us and make us an even bigger prisoner of hope in God! And for those of us who are not familiar with the scripture about the prisoner of hope, it comes from the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy about Zion’s future king coming to bring peace and salvation: ‘lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9) And we know that prophecy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the sign of peace when kings entered a territory. 

Then to encourage his listeners, Zechariah later said: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) Yes friends, our stronghold is the Lord God Jehovah, and if we will become a prisoner of hope in Him today, that is, remain hopeful despite our less than favourable circumstances, in due course He will give us double for our trouble. Like Isaiah said of the Lord in his good tidings of salvation. ‘…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’ (Is. 61:3) 

Oh my fellow saints, our very existence is all about the glorification and honour of our great God, and until we truly appreciate that fact and let it guide our lives, we will not enjoy the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. And to help us come to that awesome realization, let’s approach the throne of grace in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting heaven know of our needs and desires. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, let’s remember, that if we hope to receive positive answers to our supplications, then we need to keep the promises that we’ve made. Much LOVE!

…hope springs eternal…and while there is life…there’s ALWAYS hope… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 May 2022 Proverbs 6:20.

Proverbs 6:20.      My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY ! 

And thankfully, another Mother’s Day has come around. It’s one of the best days in the calendar, because on that day many Mothers receive the kind of LOVE, treatment and appreciation that they ought to receive all year long. And it’s rather sad and disgraceful that in these supposed enlightened times, that women are still generally being treated like second class citizens, like servants and slaves. 

In many countries of the world, they have no rights whatsoever, they are beholden to the males in the family, who take advantage of their glorified manly positions and abuse the women folk with absolutely no thought to their welfare. But those are sins that men will eventually pay for, because God is like a mother to us, and He has a special affection for mothers. 

Anyway, on this Mother’s Day Sunday we are going to open our worship with a hymn specially dedicated to the Mothers of this world, appropriately titled ‘Honour Christian Mothers,’ and it’s sung to the wonderful tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ So, let’s remember the mainstay, the very foundation of our families, as we belt out this tune, offering up sincere sacrifices of praise in their honour. 

All together now: ‘Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord, Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus: Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) “Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, finding strength and courage, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) 

God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers—Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine—All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus: Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God, Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord… Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.’  

Oh friends, mothers are indeed the most important part of our families. They bear us in their own bodies for nine months, then painfully give us birth, ofttimes promising never to repeat the process, (smile) but soon do it again, because they LOVE children and it’s part of their godly heritage, their godly cross to bear. Then they nurture us all through our formative years, doing things for us that only mothers can enjoy doing. They teach us about LOVE, caring, compassion, humility and all the other important things we need to know. 

Most of us learn how to successfully live this live through our godly mothers. That reminds me of my own mother Molly, who went to be with the Lord some eleven years ago, because it’s she who taught me all I knew about life and LOVE in my formative years…and was still trying to teach me even in my adulthood. (smile) But that’s how mothers are. 

And I like how the ESV version of the Good Book describes mothers in Proverbs. ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” … (Prov. 31:25-29) 

And in these turbulent times many women are doing double duty, without complaining too, that’s working both within the home and outside it too, so that their families can make ends meet. And don’t think that we are doing something so great on our own initiative by honouring mothers nuh, because that was one of God’s first directives to the children of Israel in the Ten Commandments. It boldly and purposefully reads: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex. 20:12) 

Yes sir, it’s right there in the Good Book! And if you think that was only in the Old Testament, then look again for Bruh Paul repeats it again in his letter to the Ephesians. ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother: which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.’ (Eph. 6:1-3) Oh my brethren, honouring, obeying respecting and giving reverence to our parents is indeed called for by God, and it’s the first rule that God gave His people, that bore an attached promise; long life on the earth. 

And in Cousin Sol’s teaching on wisdom in Proverbs, he continually exhorts us to pay serious attention to what our parents teach us. For example: ‘My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother… For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (teaching) is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.’ (Prov. 6:20, 23) It is therefore imperative that we listen to our parents if we expect to live a successful life. 

And although the father is technically the head of the household, it’s often the mothers in the families who teach us the right way of living. That’s sort of become their duty, their legacy, down through the ages. A duty and legacy they’ve usually borne with honour and compassion, although it often costs them dearly. But that’s what a mother’s LOVE is all about; giving unselfishly of herself to her family. 

Jesus knew and appreciated the importance of mothers so much that on the cross, shortly before He gave up this earthly life, He saw His mother standing next to John, the disciple whom He LOVED. ‘He saith unto his mother, woman, behold thy son. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:26-27) 

Yes friends, Jesus made sure that His mother was looked after when He was gone. And that’s how we ought also to be; make provision for our mothers, for without their LOVE and hard work, we would not even exist, much less have a long and joyful life in the land that the Lord God has given to us. And I’d like to think that Jesus’ provision for her, was another of the many things which Mary treasured in her heart about her remarkable, eye-opening experiences with her wonderful Son, like the Good Book says in Luke 2:51. ‘…but his mother kept all these saying in heart.’ 

And so she should, because she had been given possibly the toughest role a mother ever had, especially in the emotional department, but one that she executed with grace, strength and faith. And so do most mothers. So please let’s celebrate them not only today, but each and every day of their lives, for that’s the Lord’s command! Much LOVE!

…without mother’s…there’d be no children…and thus…no LOVING families… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 May 2022 Colossians 3:14.

Colossians 3:14.      And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.

Welcome aboard Saturday! Hope you are going to remain steadfast and true to the sunny disposition you now have and grace us with a wonderful spring, or better yet, near summer day. (smile) We’ve got to hope and have faith friends that all will go well today. And even if it doesn’t, then we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to rely on, to bring us comfort, safety and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of this crazy and evil world. Now who wouldn’t want such an awesome life eh? 

Unfortunately though, many of us choose not to believe in Christ Jesus, only to their everlasting sorrow. But all we can do, as good ambassadors of Christ, is to keep on telling His story, the good news of His wonderful gospel that brings salvation and eternal life to all who dare to believe, and hope that eventually they will come to recognize the error of their ways. However, since it’s Saturday, we need to get on with our business of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel LOVED.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Life is indeed too short and the world too evil and confused to spend time with people who don’t appreciate and value you. Oh, I know that we all desire to be amongst people, that we were made to be in relationships, but sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be in unproductive relationships. 

And if you cannot find satisfying relationships, like those mentioned above, then turn to God and ask for His help. There’s no shame in that. He will lead you down the right path, but sometimes it might take a li’l while for Him to arrange it, so you might have to be lonely and unsatisfied for a spell. (smile) But placing the problem in God’s hands is always the correct answer. Remember, Christ died for us to have the abundant life, and being in unsatisfying, unvalued relationships certainly does not meet that criterion. 

And do I ever like this next quote, which says: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ Oh, is that ever true! And why not eh? As we just said life is short, so why wait when you find the one you want to be with in this life? But a word of caution here. Let’s not rush into things. With such a huge commitment, a lifetime one in mind, we need to first ascertain that the other person also wants to spend the rest of their life with us. And even more importantly, that they are the right person for us in God’s will. But if you’ve checked, and all of those things are in the positive realm, then why wait? (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote explains why we must be very careful in our every move nowadays for it tells us that ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Our world is made in the image of our thoughts. Our minds are the fountains of creativity, and the thoughts and ideas which flow through and from them lead to the actions that we take. And that’s why the enemy, Satan, is so gung-ho to get control of our creative space. It enables him to drive us down the path of evil, instead of the path of righteousness. 

No wonder the mind is called a battlefield; everyone is fighting for control of it. Thus it is true, that to change our world, we must change our thinking. However, it’s ever so important that we have the right kind of thoughts and thinking that will benefit our world rather than harm it. And Bruh Paul made that quite clear when he wrote these marvellous words of advice to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, by its very nature, the world is sinful, and thus reflects a sinful lifestyle, but we can reject that by transforming our minds to believe and do the things that Jesus wants us to do. It’s not always easy, but with His help, it can be done. In fact it must be done, if we ever want to, or hope to see a better world for our children and grandchildren. That’s why Bruh Paul also wrote these words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) It’s time for us to put away our old lifestyle and conform to the new one that Christ has designed for us, one of righteousness and not of sinfulness. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.’ More awesome truth my brethren! There’s absolutely nothing in this world to beat a tender, compassionate caring heart! And undoubtedly, we have the best example of that in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Throughout the Gospels, they talk about the compassionate heart of Jesus, and that’s just a reflection of the heart of our great God. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Oh my fellow saints, our great and wonderful God is indeed characterized by mercy, care, comfort, compassion and long-suffering, otherwise we would have been destroyed long ago. And it’s that kind of heart we need to also have, as outlined in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering… And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.’ (Col. 3:12,14) 

Yes my people, LOVE is the crowning glory or grace of all Christian virtues, as well as God’s greatest attribute. So, to be a true reflection of God, those attributes must also be reflected in us. That brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ And that’s no lie. We don’t know for sure how much our hearts can hold, not even God’s heart. We just know that it can hold a lot, especially if one is a believer in Christ Jesus. 

But the heart that truly speaks to me amongst humans is that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Her heart surely held a lot, from the surprising choice to be the mother of the Son of God, to seeing Him horribly punished and crucified for wrongs He did not commit. Then His triumphant rising from the dead and ascension back to heaven. No wonder the Good Book remarks after the shepherds came and paid tribute to Jesus in the manger after His birth. ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) 

Then after the only occasion where we see some rudeness from Christ towards His parents, when they found Him in the temple talking with the elders after searching for Him for three days. ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Imagine any other twelve-year-old saying that to their parents nuh. Hn! Many teeth might have been lost. But the Good Book continues. ‘And they (Jesus’ parents) understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, from day one, mothers have never had it easy, but they are indeed the backbone of the family, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, let’s fill our hearts to overflowing with LOVE for them nuh, and treat them as the queens that they are, for they always give much more than they ever ask for or expect. Much LOVE!

…it’s only the LOVE in our world…that keeps it from totally falling apart… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 May 2022 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.       Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

And the joyful shout of  ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rises up all over the land. And although it’s a cloudy Friday morning, just the thought that the work week is on its last slippery legs, brings joy to the populace! Oh, how we look forward to our weekends so we can rest, party and be rejuvenated to go back out and do the same dreary, painstaking work the following week. And do we ever need a break from the drudgery of work, the same old, same old, at the end of the five days. 

And Cousin Sol puts it so nicely in his role as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, when he says: ‘Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity (futility). What profit hath a man of (from) all his labour which he taketh under the sun?  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.’ (Eccl. 1:2-4) And that’s no lie! While mankind comes and goes with a few changes, the earth goes on unchanged and undisturbed. 

And according to the scholars, ‘The implied answer to the rhetorical question in verse 3 is that there is no profit for man in his work. This supports the idea that “vanity” refers to a lack of profit, value, or worth. Under the sun is used 29 times in the book and denotes the sphere of Solomon’s observations.’ And please note that ‘vanity’ or futility ‘is never predicated of God, God’s work, God’s revelation, or man as man.’ 

Then, after commenting on the sameness of the sun, the winds, the rivers and seas through all generations, (vs. 5-7) Cousin Sol continues: ‘All things are full of labour (wearisome); man cannot utter (express) it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:8-9) And when we look at it from a worldly point of view, it’s the gospel truth! Nothing is really new, for from the beginning to the end, life is just a revolving cycle. 

Then he asks: ‘Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See this is new? it hath been already of old (ancient time), which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.’ (Eccl. 1:10-11) We can’t argue much with those statements, for as the scholars explain: ‘The ceaseless cycles of nature illustrate the futility of life. The amazing thing is that the earth goes on, but man, the height of God’s creation, passes into eternity with no remembrance (vs.11).’ 

Now, we all know that Cousin Sol undertook a study to find out what life’s all about and if it’s worth living at all. And throughout history there’s never been anyone better qualified to undertake such a study. As he says: ‘I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate (greatness), and have gotten more wisdom that all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge (I understood great wisdom). And I gave (set) my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit (a grasping of the wind). For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.’ (Eccl. 1:16-18) 

And in chapter 2, Cousin Sol, as the scholars outline, ‘pursued fulfillment through pleasure, wine, great works, wealth, aesthetic and artistic pleasures, and fame. All of these failed to bring lasting satisfaction to the wisest man of all time, yet people three thousand years later are still trying them in search of enduring fulfillment.’ Now, when we consider the awesome truth in the last statement, it brings forth a sad sigh, because we are still running behind the lusts and pleasures of the flesh that hold no lasting good. 

And, as per wisdom and folly, Cousin Sol found that wisdom was better than folly, ‘as far as light excelleth darkness.’ (Eccl. 2:13) However the same thing, death, happens to the wise as to the fool, so why be wise eh? That too was vanity (futile, worthless). However, wisdom is still the most attractive virtue since it brings inner peace: ‘a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness (sternness) of his face shall be changed.’ (Eccl. 8:1) 

There is also joy in labour, because it is from the hand of God. For although we brought nothing into the world and take nothing with us. ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils)  all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl. 5:18) 

And since we don’t have the time nor space to list all of Cousin Sol’s findings in his search for purpose in life, we’ll go straight to his conclusion. He puts it thus: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) 

So, despite the many problems and difficulties we might face in living this earthly life, we must remember that our first duty is always to reverence and worship our great God and be obedient to His holy will. That’s why we’ve been created and placed on this earth… for a true and sincere relationship with the God of our creation. And to uphold that relationship between us, He instituted the communication called prayer. Therefore, in wisdom and honour, let’s go to Him right now nuh through the medium of prayer, raising our Friday Chant to heaven, acknowledging our problems and asking for divine help. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want positive answers to our prayer, then we must show that we are indeed faithful believers and set a good example as we’ve promised. Much LOVE!

…life might be rough…but our God is good…and His promises are sure… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 May 2022 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.      Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

And then it was Thursday; bright, sunny and refreshing. But who knows if it’s going to remain like that all day though, because the weather has been so topsy turvy recently. Yes, would you believe that after all the rain yesterday morning, by afternoon it turned into a beautiful, warm, sunny day! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have Jesus and His Holy Spirit, who never change, to keep us smiling and level headed in the face of all the turbulence in our world and our weather! 

That’s why we can say: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) And isn’t that a marvellous situation to be in? It most certainly is! So please give our magnificent Lord and Saviour some thanks and praise for His steadfastness and awesome faithfulness despite our whining and complaining ways. (smile) And it’s sad to know that these days, in our Western world, we’ve become unholy complainers despite the numerous amenities that surround us. 

Regardless of how much we have, we never seem to be satisfied, but are always seeking more, and seeking it more quickly too. And we all know that those attitudes are not welcome in the kingdom of Christ, and most likely constitute sin on our part, especially if we are otherwise very blessed by the Lord. And that’s the work of the enemy, the ruler of this evil world. He stirs up our greed and avarice, knowing that if we don’t get what we want, we will become angry and lose our peace and joy and behave less like the Christians we claim to be. 

But there’s a sweet and simple scripture that helps us to forego that behaviour. It’s found in Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wisely advises them, and consequently us too: ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph. 4:26-27) 

Oh my people, there’s so much wisdom in those few words. Let’s check it out nuh. In the first place getting angry is not a sin, it’s a normal human emotion, given to us by the Father to show our displeasure. The Lord gets angry too. And we definitely don’t want to experience it. (smile) The problem lies in what we do when we get angry. Many of us do wrong and foolish things when we lose our temper, and that’s when we give the devil an opportunity to get into our souls and downgrade our Christian walk. Please remember, that‘s all the enemy is about; lessening our witness for Christ. And if we don’t control our anger, we will fall right into his evil and ungodly trap. 

And then there’s the wisdom of not letting the sun go down on our anger. Why is that so important? Because when we go to sleep angry, that anger percolates in our soul and spirit all night, and instead of restoring our peace and LOVE in Christ Jesus, we wake up angry and give the devil even more opportunity to invade our lives on that new day.  And there are several other scriptures that warn us to forsake anger and the damning effects it has on our Christian walk. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. He advises us to: ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:8-9) True words of wisdom my fellow believers. 

And that other great psalmist, Asaph, had this to say, from personal experience no less, about evil and fretting. In his famous Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness – he tells it thus: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps. 73:1-3) Then he goes on to describe how the wicked seem to prosper in their wickedness. 

And we see the same thing too, and say like Asaph did: ‘Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper (are always at ease) in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain (kept my heart pure in vain), and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children (would have been untrue to thy word).When I thought to know this (understand it), it was too painful for me (troublesome in my eyes); Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end (the end of the wicked).’ (Ps. 73:12-17) 

Oh friends, too many of us find ourselves in Asaph’s situation, envying the prosperity of the wicked, and instead of turning to God for divine assistance, take up the ungodly activities of the evildoers so we too can acquire the world’s prosperity. And the scholars explain. ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked . Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life ( v.4). He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s only through a strong relationship with Almighty God will we be able to see the wicked prosper, as they often do in this evil world, and not desire to be like them! We need to firmly believe the word of God that says the wicked will eventually be destroyed, or else we will head down that wide and destructive path that only leads to hell fire and damnation. And the enemy would like nothing better than that. But friends, please, please, let’s remember, like Jesus said in the parable of the sower, that we are in this most important category: ‘But other (seed) fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty; some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) 

Glory be my fellow saints. Let’s rejoice that we are good ground and the word of God has taken full root in us and we’re bringing forth good fruit. And how do we do that? By using these Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. So, let’s boldly declare them to activate them nuh. As one confident voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and use those blessings to bear good fruit in Jesus’ name, like He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…who hath ears to hear…let him hear… (Matt. 13:9)  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Oh, it’s been a very persistent drizzle; right from yesterday afternoon, through the night…and believe it or not, (smile) it’s still happening in my neighbourhood! So, this middle day of the week, Wednesday is wet and cloudy. It’s the kind of day we expected in April, you know, April showers that bring May flowers. But it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s May, and we still haven’t seen any flowers. What’s with that eh? But after a somewhat colder than normal April, the trees are now venturing to bud. 

And we’re laying it all at the feet of climate change. Now isn’t it strange that we always find something or someone else to blame for our problems rather than the usual cause, that’s ourselves? For sure! We don’t like to accept blame, even when it’s staring us full in the face. And our society is daily getting worse in that respect. But I’m not going to go any further into that topic, because it’s one fraught with all kinds of pitfalls. (smile) But rather, I’m going to revisit our Bit of yesterday, the reassuring and uplifting words of Jesus on prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) 

And why is that you ask? Simply because some of the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday never got shared, and I believe they are important enough for us to consider on the subject of prayer. And the first scripture we want to address is this one that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when His heart was heavy and His spirit pretty low. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ (Mark 14:36) 

Yes friends, we need to note there, that although Jesus would have liked to be spared the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He was willing to bow to the Father’s will. We saw the same thing with Bruh Paul yesterday, when the Lord refused to remove the thorn from his flesh because it showed the Lord’s power more in his weakness. And that’s the same thing we must understand. God will not always answer our prayers, the way we want them, when our problems serve for His greater good. You can see that instead of taking away the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He gave Jesus the wherewithal to handle it, and likewise with Bruh Paul, He gave him the strength to handle whatever was the annoying thorn in his flesh. 

So please don’t be dismayed if we ask for relief in some way and the Lord provides it in a different way. Remember, whatever we ask for, must be in line with the Lord’s will, and there will be times, when we truly believe we need genuine relief from problems, but facing those problems will accentuate His glory and raise our maturity level, so He might just give us the strength to face them, instead of removing them completely. 

Then there is this very interesting and true statement from Jesus to the disciples, after He came and found them sleeping, instead of watching and praying with Him. He said to them: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye fall into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:38) And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Our flesh is easily ruled by our sinful nature, and we need to be in a state of spiritual perception to be able to resist the wiles and evil schemes which the enemy constantly throws at us. 

And the best way to do that is through prayer. For when we are praying, temptation cannot overcome us. Now listen to Jesus again to the disciples after telling them that He was the vine and they the branches. (John 15:5) ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you.’ (John 15:8) And that relates directly to the fact that we ask for whatever in Jesus’ name, because it’s only through His work on the cross and His name, that we have access to the Father. So only if we are His true agents and ambassadors, living His Word, will using His name work. 

And these words of James, Jesus’ brother, on the topic of prayer, really tell us how important it is in the believer’s life. He says: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yes my fellow saints, prayer should be our number ONE response to everything! As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) The Lord our God ought to be the first person we tell about any problem. Then He will direct us to the best road to take. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says in Proverbs. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Truer words were never spoken or written my friends! That’s why we can turn to the first epistle of John to read and hopefully learn these most valuable lessons. ‘Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:21-22) 

Now the scholars give us a very good warning about those passages of scripture. ‘We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth by John in the earlier passages. 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 that hits the nail right on the head my brethren! Prayer is non-functional unless we are living right. In other words, right living determines the successfulness of our prayers! And for those of us who are endeavouring to live right, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And the corollary to that is this: if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious and marvellous than we can ever ask or imagine! Now doesn’t that give us good reason to endure right down to the very end? It surely does! Much LOVE!

…and this is the confidence that we have in him…that if we ask anything…according to his will…he heareth us… (1 John 5:14) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Well, a good Tuesday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And may this day be an interesting and fruitful one in your life. And if you doubt it will be, then just do as that favourite song of ours declares: ‘Count your blessings, Name them one by one, Count your many blessings, and see what God has done.’ Yes friends, I think that’s a useful habit we should all cultivate: counting our blessings every day. 

And why is that you ask? Because we will find that we always have more blessings than troubles, and that will boost our spirits at the beginning of each day and enable us to surrender our all much more easily to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as we ought to, if we expect to have fruitful days. 

Unfortunately though, we humans, even Christian folk, seem to focus on our troubles more than our blessings, even though they are much fewer in number. And that’s the deceitful work of the enemy, as he tries to lower our faith and the sensitivity of our spirits, thus making us poor, unhappy, complaining and miserable apparitions of our true selves, which, in Jesus, are truly bright and glowing like the noonday sun! 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, the words of Jesus to His disciples, after He had cursed the fig tree. ‘And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away? Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:20-22) 

Oh my people that is indeed a magnificent and most powerful scripture, and if we believers would take it more seriously and practice it more often, many of us would not have the miserable and complaining lives we now have! It’s all about faith in Christ, about believing what He’s said from day one right down to now! So, let’s listen to Jesus once again as He pronounces on the awesome power of prayer. 

In His Sermon on the Mount, He offers this discourse. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11) 

And right here, let’s turn to the scholars for some very good explanations on the subject of prayer. They say: ‘The three imperatives, ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! We have no excuses whatsoever for failing to become spiritually mature in Christ because we already have it all implanted in us; that’s the fruit of God’s Spirit, and we only need to water it and properly tend it with prayer, goodness and meditation on God’s Word, for it to grow into a beautiful example of Jesus Christ! 

And the scholars go on to further explain: ‘Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14). Illustration: Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14). Application: God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7). (First ref. Gen. 3:8-13; Primary ref. Matt. 7:7; cf. 1 John 5:14-15 ).’ 

Yes my brethren, prayer is very important in our Christian walk, and it must not be taken lightly, as so many of us do. And merely asking God for stuff does not constitute prayer. It calls for all the other things that the scholars mention above there. And most important of all, it calls for obedience to God, and then asking for things that fall within His will for our lives. And we have the perfect example of the latter when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, and what answer did that great man of faith receive? 

The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor, 12:9a) So God did not answer Bruh Paul’s prayer there because it served His purpose more to leave him as he was. His awesome power would be even more noticeable in Bruh Paul’s weakness. And though Bruh Paul was obviously disappointed, listen to his response nuh. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

And who says our God doesn’t have sense of humour? I note that with a chuckle, because the Lord might have purposely led me to that scripture this morning, when I’m experiencing some serious joint problems and pain, and man’s medication and prayer don’t seem to be helping much. So, I guess I’ll just have to take pleasure in my infirmities and let God’s superior power shine through in my weaknesses. (smile) And there are many more scriptures we can note to show the power and importance of prayer, but that would take forever (smile), so let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong and confident voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh, share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with others, so they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…and Jesus spake a parable unto them…to this end…that men ought always to pray…and not to faint…not to lose heart… (Luke 18:1) 

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