Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2021 Proverbs 29:18.

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

And before you know it, the weekend is done, and the weekly cycle of work has begun again! Yeh friends, the weekend seems to pass so quickly, while the workweek seems to take forever. But you know, that’s only a matter of our perception, for all the days are the same in length and are controlled by the same mechanism. And we just think that what we like passes quickly, and what we don’t like lasts an interminably long time. 

But never fear, for there is method to the Lord’s madness. He is the Supreme Being and knows what He’s doing. He set up His universe the way He thought best, so who are we, a mere creation, to doubt, or find fault with His decision making eh, just because it’s somewhat tough on our mortal bodies? (smile) 

And there is only one way to overcome that, by asking the Lord for understanding, as set out in Psalm 119. ‘Teach me O Lord, the way of thy statutes (unchangeable regulations); and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law (Word); yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’ (Ps. 119:33-34) Yeh friends, when we have pliable or teachable hearts and go to the Lord sincerely seeking understanding, He will gladly give it to us. 

But we have to get the ball rolling by going to Him, we can’t wait for Him to come to us. His will must be our heart’s desire, so that we can truthfully declare: ‘Make me to go in the path of thy commandments (directives, charge); for therein I do delight.’ (Ps. 119:35) And that’s no joking matter my brethren, because the Lord takes His commandments very seriously, so you can’t tell Him that unless you truly mean it, just to try and appease Him. He will not fall for it, because He checks the motives of our hearts for every word we say to Him. 

So, unless you are serious about all this stuff, please don’t go asking for it. But if you are, the Lord will be overjoyed for you to say to Him: ‘Incline my heart unto (cause me to long for) thy testimonies (what You have said about Yourself and Your will), and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things); and quicken (revive) thou me in thy way. Stablish (establish) thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear (fearing thee). Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgements (decisions) are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts (instructions): quicken (revive) me in thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 119:37-40) 

Oh my people, we can never go wrong by seeking God and all that He has to offer. Remember Jesus’ fateful words of warning from the Sermon on the Mount, re serving one master and running down earthly stuff: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) Yes my fellow believers, our number one priority ought to be seeking God and His righteousness, and then all the other stuff we need will be given to us by Him. 

And on that subject, please remember Bruh Paul’s directive to Timothy. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables (because they promote ungodliness) and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.’ (1 Tim. 4:7-8) And the scholars paraphrase that last verse thus: ‘For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Matter fixed friends! We need more spiritual exercise than we do physical, but unfortunately, the gyms, with their tough workout routines are enticing many more people than the churches in these godless times. Meaning that spiritual exercise seems to be taking a back seat to the physical aspect. Consequently, that doesn’t bode well for our society, for a society that rejects God will always suffer serious consequences. Like Cousin Sol says: ‘Where there is no (prophetic) vision, the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) 

That means when you don’t have God’s direction, divine revelation in a society, there are no restraints, and people do whatever they want, like in our current world. The scholars tell us that ‘Morality is based on adherence to God’s revealed will.’ And it obviously hasn’t been revealed to us because we are a very immoral society. 

But it’s not too late to get some divine revelation friends, however, as we said above, the onus is on us to get the ball rolling by going to God for direction. So let’s do that right now nuh, go to Him in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, laying out all our problems, fears and doubts before Him, asking for divine wisdom and guidance. 

Altogether now: ‘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, remember that humility and sincerity are essential for positive answers to prayer. So, let’s hope that we were sincere and humble. Much LOVE!

…only through seeking God’s kingdom…and its righteousness…will mankind see heaven…and not hell…                                                                                              

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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 11 October 2013 Proverbs 24:10

Proverbs 24:10.    If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
 
Oh Friends, please join me in singing: ‘It’s Friday, it’s Friday! Thank God it’s Friday, and the workweek soon finish! The weekend is here…but Chuh! I have to go home and do the laundry, clean the house, make the groceries, get the children ready for next week…
 
Oh Lord I can’t wait for Monday nuh, so I can once again sit in the traffic and listen to my soothing music. Then get to work and do the stuff that’s much easier than housework. But still, I thank God that it’s Friday! I thank God for every new day that I see, despite the many pressures of life. Thank You again God!’
 
Yes mih breddren, some of us have it easier at work than at home. But that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our busy lives, and giving thanks and praise for all that God’s doing for us, because we’re still doing better than the vast majority of the world.
 
And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a true perspective on how to handle the weekend. With one voice now: ‘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.’
 
Ah my fellow believers, I surely hope that between our two songs, we’ve now got enough energy and vision on how to handle the weekend. (smile) And just in case you haven’t received it, please remember that the thousand-mile journey begins with the FIRST STEP.
 
So please step out in faith this weekend, while asking our wonderful leader, Jesus, to guide you as you perform your many tasks. You can be assured that He won’t say no. On the contrary, He’ll jump for joy to be your Helper!
 
And this is where our ever so appropriate Bit comes in: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’
 
And that’s gospel truth, my brethren! For as the scholars note: ’24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of one’s endurance.’
 
We can’t be successful believers, followers of Christ and faint and fall at the slightest appearance of adversity. Remember Jesus’ life was full of adversity, and if we want to walk in His footsteps, then we must be able to endure the trials and tribulations of this world.
 
Remember too His prophetic promise. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) So right there Friends, we have one less anxiety, one less thing to worry about, and one more faithful promise to stand strong on.
 
Now I will shut up… And I hear numerous shouts of: ‘Thank You Lord!’ (smile) Yes my beautiful followers of Christ, I will endeavour to shut up and just let the scripture do the talking. And we’ll open with Psalm 94 – How long shall the wicked triumph.
 
The psalmist wisely declares: ‘Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest (instructeth), O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest (relief) from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast of (abandon) his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgement shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart will follow it.’ (Ps.94:12-15)
 
So Friends, though the Lord chastens us, or allows adversity to befall us, there is no need to fear. For once we stand strong in faith and accept whatever comes our way, the just and righteous God we serve will eventually alleviate our problems. As the saying goes, this too shall pass. 
 
And this final passage of scripture comes from Hebrews 12, re God’s discipline. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as children  (sons),
 
My son, despise not the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
 
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
 
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:3-11) 
 
Yes Friends, that says it all! I’ll just add some notes from the scholars on the subject. ’12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself. 
 
12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (appropriate, fitting) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to the fathers:
 
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov.13:24; cf. 22:15; 23:13) LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complementary and necessary aspects of training.’
 
There’s no more to say Friends! Now let’s take some time and ponder all that we’ve said, and see how it fits into our lives, for that’s true wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…as many as I LOVE…I rebuke and chasten…be zealous therefore and repent… (Rev.3:19)