Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2021 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.      Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.

I hear you friends! I hear you calling out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and this miserable workweek soon done!’ And yes, the workweek might have been difficult and/or frustrating, but please look on the bright side nuh, you were one of the blessed ones, you at least had a job to go to. However, in these pandemic, riotous, disastrous and dangerous times, thousands of your brethren had none to go to, and would have grabbed yours without a backward glance. Many would have given their ‘eye-teeth,’ as the old people would say to have any li’l job at all, so they could make a few dollars to feed themselves and their families

. So please, let’s not belittle the work we do, even though it may not be as soul-satisfying as we desire. Times are exceedingly hard, and instead of complaining we ought to be thankful for what little we might have, because there are so many others around the world with so much less than us, who would be exceedingly glad and thankful to have the little we claim to have. 

That’s why this scripture writing of Bruh Paul to the Philippians is ever so important today. He writes: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil. 4:4) Yes friends, that’s the number one characteristic and attitude of believers in Christ Jesus; we are joyful in whatever situation we find ourselves. Remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy tries his best to steal our joy, because he knows that without that joy, which brings strength, we are totally at his evil mercy. 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (vs.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his pleas in verses 2 and 3, (to be of the same mind), is another reason to “rejoice.” 

In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And yuh better believe my brethren that in these perilous times the command to rejoice is indeed a call to faith, since we do have a wise, sovereign and LOVING God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to work out everything for our good eventually. Thus, the level of our joy rests on the level of our faith, on how much we believe what our Creator says. If our faith is strong, then our joy will be forthcoming, but if our faith is weak, then we will be filled with all kinds of doubts, fears and anxieties. 

That’s why Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:6) And the scholars tell us that ‘Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (vs.2) and who rejoices always (vs.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge any wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And we all know the command of verse 6. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) What a majestic and encouraging verse of scripture my people! We don’t need to be anxious for anything because we can take it all to God in sincere prayer and supplication, but with thanksgiving, letting Him know that we desperately need His help. That means thankfully laying our anxieties at His feet, assured that He can and will deal with them on our behalf. Thus, we are freed of the anxieties and worries, the doubts and frustrations of this evil and ungodly world. 

Wow! No wonder we are to rejoice and be thankful! And I would be amiss if I didn’t add some of the scholars’ explanation of that verse. They say, ‘Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (vs. 5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

So what’s the end result of all that eh? Bruh Paul states it thus: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Oh my people! ‘The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problems, and His ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

And that peace shall guard our hearts through our trust and belief in Christ Jesus! Glory be my fellow saints! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really, but we do need to take our current fears and anxieties to the Lord in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, please remember that we need to keep our promises, if we expect the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my helper…I will not fear…                                                                                                        

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Ah friends, it’s just been one of those days. I got up early, but could not decide whether to write the Bit or go to the early morning church service. Hn! Consequently I did neither. 

Then I hem and hawed about whether to write the Bit or go to the later church service. I finally went to the ten o’clock service and did not get back home till after twelve, so that’s why I’m only now writing the Bit. 

Steups! What a good day for indecisiveness and laziness! Let’s be thankful that that doesn’t happen every day. 

And the church service was refreshing. Everybody was glad to see me back out, though they didn’t notice that at one stage during the pre communion prayers, I had to sit down because a bout of tiredness suddenly hit me. That’s because I purposely sat at the very back of the church. All in all though, it was a good time, and I hope it just gets better every week. 

Now let’s get in some praise and worship with this old hymn which accurately describes my situation right now. My physical state might not be the greatest, but certainly, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. (Refrain) It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain) 

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! — My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain) 

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Refrain) 

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul…’ 

Yeh my people, I do hope it is well with all of our souls, for that’s where it really counts. That brings us to our Bit, a serious clarion call from Bruh Paul. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Oh fellow believers, that might sound somewhat difficult to do, what with all the difficulties we have in our current lives. But as a believer, it is essential for us to have continual joy, a steady spate of rejoicing, otherwise we won’t be able to handle our individual circumstances. 

Now we don’t necessarily mean constant jumping and shouting, but more a quiet thankfulness that makes the heart and soul feel satisfied, regardless of the situation. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. 

Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.” In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” 

This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And Romans 8:28, tells us just that: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them that who are called according to his purpose.’ 

So there is good reason to rejoice always. Why do you think I’m keeping my peace and hanging in there despite my numerous ailments? Because I’m believing on God’s promises to make everything right in His own time. 

Friends, that’s the only way to find some peace in this crazy, strife filled world, especially in the uncertain and apparently divisive era of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

Let’s pray that he will soon wake up and smell the roses and not simply make matters worse than they already are. Remember, as the U.S. goes, most of the world goes, thus we are also praying for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…if heaven is your future home…then there’s no need to be sad on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2015 1 John 5:21‏

1 John 5:21.  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday…a brand new day! That means new mercies and blessings soon come! Glory to God! Now that is God’s sincere promise, and if you truly believe in Him then you will believe His word and be waiting expectantly and patiently for the new mercies and blessings to rain down upon you. 

Mama Mia! Oh what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve and worship my brethren! Let your spirits be lifted high, because our God is still on the throne and still in control of this great universe that He created, and has promised that nothing, or no one can or will ever come between Him and us. Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Yuh know, recently I’ve been thinking that our God is so sweet and we are so stupid, or I believe the politically correct term is mentally challenged, (smile) because we’re not bright and smart enough to walk obediently in His will, even though we’ve seen the huge benefits that come from doing so. 

We know that our God LOVES nothing better than to receive our sincere and heartfelt thanks and praise, because that’s what He made us to do; to glorify Him with thanks and praise. But yet we refuse to give Him His just desserts. 

I don’t know about you all nuh Friends, but I just LOVE to give Him thanks and praise, for there’s nothing sweeter than listening to good music with worshipful lyrics and sending up declarations of sincere LOVE and thanksgiving to the Most High God Jehovah! Oh glory to our wonderful Creator and great Provider! 

If we were really smart, we’d be giving Him constant thanks and praise. As Bruh Paul says to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) 

And again to the Philippians, where he confidently declares: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice.’ (Phil.4:4) 

And the scholars offer this bit of sage advice and explanation. ‘This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

That is gospel truth Friends! It’s a win-win situation, because God would be enjoying our grateful glorification, and so would we. Glory Hallelujah my people! And that’s the end of my rambling for today. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Tuesday Mantra and declare it like we really believe it. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Glory to God my brethren for there’s nothing better in this world, especially in these challenging times than to be LOVED by God, be His child, and be a Friend of Jesus! 

Ah mih people, the ole fella is so worked up that he doesn’t know what to do with himself. (smile) I guess then we’ll finally turn to our Bit. ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols.’ 

And what part of that don’t we understand eh mih people? For right from the very beginning, in the Ten Commandments, our God warned us about it. If you don’t remember, let me refresh our minds. 

The very first commandment is ‘Thou shalt have no other God’s before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (worship them), nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that LOVE me, and keep my commandments.’ (Ex.20:3-6) 

Now where does He change that commandment eh Friends? Where does He say that we can put all sorts of other supposed gods, be they graven images or material things before Him eh? Nowhere? So why do we think it’s okay to put all the things we put in our everyday lives before Him eh? 

That’s not wisdom Friends. And the sad part is that Jesus promised, ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes, precious people, all the earthly things that we are running down and placing before Almighty God are available to us if we seek Him and His kingdom FIRST! 

Now doesn’t it seem somewhat foolish to be killing ourselves over stuff when we can have them without any fuss and bother, if we’d just make the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob our first priority? It certainly does my fellow believers! 

So please let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh Friends, and stop running down the things of the world, the very things that are causing us so much stress and strife, that are ruining our lives in our driving and never-ending pursuit of them! That is certainly not the wisdom of heaven…or really any kind of wisdom at all! Much LOVE!

…true allegiance to God… ought to be the believer’s first and main priority…  

P.S. Sadly my people, like LOVE and hate, late nights and early mornings just don’t agree. (smile)