Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Awright friends, it’s bright and sunshiny out there, so let’s get with the thanks and praise, as we all joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And we’d be very foolish and ungrateful not to do so my brethren, because that’s why the Lord made the beautiful day – so that His precious people could enjoy it. Glory to our Most High God, whose kind, gracious and LOVING thoughts are always upon us, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

Yes my dear brethren in Christ, our God only has our best interest at heart, but we foolishly screw it up when we don’t pay Him His much-deserved obeisance and obedience. Anyway, He’s also overflowing with forgiveness, so when we realize the error of our ways and come to Him in sincere repentance, He WILL have mercy on our poor human souls, and forgive us. That’s just how magnanimous and generous He is! 

And that’s why the workingman, even in his somewhat mislead agenda, can cry out in thanks and appreciation this Friday morning to the Most High: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! MamaYo! The weekend is at hand; the time to celebrate life is upon us. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s celebrate life! 

We alive and kicking, and the wisest man ever, Solomon, said that it was good for a man to eat drink and enjoy the fruits of his labour! So leh we do that nuh, celebrate the end of another back breaking week of slave-like labour, as we give thanks for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah friends, as always, I have no complaints re the workingman’s song, except that he takes the celebrating thing a little too far, so that he opens wide the door for Lucifer and his evil minions to get a foothold in his soul. And that’s why, as believers, our Friday Chant is somewhat different; still exuberant and enthusiastic, but with tighter boundaries and a li’l more circumspection. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, as we declare our thanks for the weekend to Almighty God. 

‘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 people, we have to be careful to not go too far out on the limb of freedom, so that we don’t allow the enemy to muddy our clean, clear waters. And remember too, that not because a wide door or path has been opened to us, that we have to go through or take it, for oftimes, it is the enticement of the enemy. 

That’s why Jesus warned us: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

 And that’s the God awesome truth friends! Living and working for Jesus, does take away some of our wiggle room. (smile) Meanwhile, Luke puts it thus: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:24) Yes my brethren, the way to eternal life is narrow and fraught with difficulty, and only those who sincerely seek it and are willing to pay the price will find it. 

And it’s not only narrow, but there’s only ONE WAY, that through Jesus, as He succinctly informed doubting Thomas. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Right there you have that narrow, one-way street to eternal life my people! Jesus didn’t mince words; He told it exactly like it is: ONLY through Him can one get to the Father and bypass eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire! 

So what’s it going to be eh: eternal salvation in the amazing company of our Triune God, or hell fire and damnation with the fallen angels? It’s a decision each individual has to make for themself; nobody else can make it for you. They can suggest it, or even lead you to that narrow path, but it’s always going to be your decision to tread or not to tread it. 

 Let’s hope today my people, that we all make the wise decision; that to follow Jesus on the narrow but difficult and self-sacrificing path to victory and everlasting life. It’s the best and wisest decision we can ever make in this lifetime! And we will never regret it, all the way through eternity! Much LOVE!

…if Christ…who cannot lie…says He is the ONLY way to the Father…then it must be true…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘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. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

All together 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!’ 

Yes friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘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.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2018 Psalm 34:3.

Psalm 34:3.   O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

It’s a cloudy Thursday morning in my neck of the woods…but we’ll take it. Anything to lessen the heat wave we’ve been suffering for the last few days. A li’l rain fell last night, but we can surely use some more. But regardless of the outside circumstances or situations, we believers are settled, comforted and contented inside, thanks to the presence of the Holy Spirit residing within us. Give our great and generous God a shout of praise for that! 

And I don’t know why, but as I got up this morning I just felt the need to glorify and exalt our God more than usual. So please friends, in the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ 

Now that’s the most praiseworthy thing we can do my brethren! Magnifying our magnificent and magnanimous God is about the highest accolade we can receive. In fact, that’s one of the reasons He created us; to exalt and magnify, praise Him and come before Him with sincere gratitude and thanksgiving. 

Bruh David says it well before our Bit. He opens the psalm thus: ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.’  (Ps.34:1-2)  

Wow friends! If we could only say those words too and sincerely mean them, how wonderful our lives would be eh! For the only thing we ought to boast of in our earthly journey is in the Lord our God! And note how Bruh David says when the humble hear us boasting in the Lord they are glad. That just goes to show how significant our praising God can be. 

And we experience that fully in the ‘Magnificat,’ the famous words of Mary, Christ’s mother, when she received the glorious news that she was the blessed one, chosen to bear the Son of God, the Messiah. Once everything had been explained to her, she joyfully burst out: ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 

For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.’ (Luke 1:46-55) 

Ah friends, many of us believe that Mary was simply a pimply-faced teenager with not much sense. But from those words above and the way she handled the situation when told she would bear a child without knowing a man, especially when she was already engaged to be married, it shows she had a decent knowledge of the scriptures and a great faith. 

Can you imagine the vitriol she faced in the restrictive Jewish society when it became known she was pregnant without being married? She must have had a very strong internal strength for one of such tender age. I guess that’s why the Lord chose her. 

And Bruh David continues to encourage us to magnify our wonderful God in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. ‘Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as LOVE thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.’ (Ps.40:16) 

Oh friends, if you LOVE the Lord’s salvation, then say it with me nuh, loud and proud: ‘THE LORD BE MAGNIFIED!’ Wow! Doesn’t that just touch a holy chord in thy soul? (smile) It surely does in mine! 

Now here is an interesting instance when the Lord’s name was magnified. Bruh Paul was in Ephesus, doing miracles and casting out demons, and the seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, tried to cast out a demon. ‘And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 

And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.’ (Acts 19:15-18) 

Yuh see friends how it backfires on us when we try to do evil in the Lord’s name, or something we’re not qualified to do? Now let’s go home shouting for joy, magnifying our God, declaring His wondrous Thursday Blessings. In all truth and sincerity now: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we’re true believers, then we WILL go out and share those blessings with others, as Jesus meant for us to do. Much LOVE!

…magnifying God…not only lifts up His name…but also lifts up our souls and spirits…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Ah friends, one never knows what each passing moment of each day will bring nuh! Here I was planning to come down and write about the bright and stunning day that was happening in my neighbourhood and the upcoming long Labour Day weekend. But as it recently seems to be too often the case, I open my e-mail and find news of an obituary. Steups! 

Now this one isn’t for a personal friend of mine, but someone who played an important part in my life some fifty years ago…boy some of us are sure getting long in the tooth. (smile) The gentleman I’m talking about is H.E. Cedric Lanyon Harper, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to Jamaica (1930-2018). 

My association with him took place when he was the Warden of Irvine Hall, the Hall I was associated with on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He was a big man, both in girt and height, and good be gruff at times. His bristling moustache also lent an air of intimidation to his naturally serious demeanour. A lot of the students, including me, didn’t like him and his rules for the Hall. 

But you know what? When push came to shove, he turned out to be white knight in shining armour. Hn! I’m talking about when I could not pay my tuition fees in my last year, which meant I couldn’t take my final exam, he lent me the money from the Hall’s coffers. And for that I will be eternally grateful, so should you all be too, because then you might have never known me. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just another example to show that we should not judge the book by its cover. My condolences go out to all of Mr. Harper’s family and friends as they mourn his passing, but hopefully celebrate his apparently generous and giving life as a teacher and able representative for his country of St.Kitts and Nevis. 

But the workingman is not going to let us forget that it’s Friday, as he joyfully belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And a long weekend too – Labour Day! Mama Yo! All the people who labour and work hard will be celebrating the few benefits we have because of the brave resistance of so many who’ve gone before us. Yeh breddren, we have to stand up for we rights, slavery done long time ago, otherwise the greedy and hard hearted slave master going to push we right back into it. 

But he can’t stop we from celebrating how we want to on we time though. So on this last weekend of the summer, we going to throw the biggest party of the summer; nuff food and drink, music, marching and singing songs of freedom! Oh brother! What a party it going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, especially the long ones and them!’ 

Yeh friends, it is the last long weekend of summer, which means closing up the vacation cottage up north! Come next week it’s back to school and back to work for those who took vacation with their children. And as believers, we too will celebrate the Labour Day long weekend, just not as boisterously and lasciviously as the ordinary workingman. And our Friday Chant is also much more subdued and responsible than his song. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get enthusiastic about it, so let’s chant up a storm nuh! All together 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.’ 

Yeh friends, when we work and live for Jesus, it just means that we’re a tad more responsible, more heavenly minded than earthly minded, but not so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. (smile) We have to be careful not to give the enemy any room to come into our lives and corrupt them. 

That means we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, constantly on the look out for his sly, deceitful and reasoned approaches, like the one he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Peter so forcefully reminds us in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! The ole crook Lucifer is always on the lookout for any toe or finger hold he can get in our lives. So continuing in the admonition of Peter: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh, I know some of us are going to say, knowing that others are also experiencing temptation doesn’t help me any. And that might be true. But hear this: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly what will happen. After a bit of sufferation, to prove and strengthen our faith, the Lord of all grace and mercy will bring us out strong and steadfast. You can bet on it. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ (1 Pet.5:11) Much LOVE!

…trials and tribulation…they are simply God’s way…of testing and strengthening our faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2018 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.   Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And then it was Friday; that magical day of the week that has us all gushing with the promise of a wonderful and relaxing weekend! 

But I don’t think the people on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the volcano has now swallowed up some 600 hundred homes, or those in Guatemala, where their volcano is starting to act up again, are thinking about a relaxing weekend. Neither are the people in Colorado where the wildfires continue spreading like wildfire. Hn! So please, let’s continue to keep them in our prayers. 

And on a note of interest, the people of the Province of Ontario here in Canada have decided to vote for change. The Progressive Conservative Party was elected with a safe majority in yesterday’s Provincial Election. Let’s hope that the change we voted for doesn’t end up worse than what we had before. 

And why you ask? Because the Leader of the party is none other than Doug Ford, the brother of the late Rob Ford, who as mayor of Toronto recently made the city the laughing stock of the world with his ‘unmayoral’ antics. Let’s hope that brother Doug is not cut from the same cloth. But remember too, that a people get the government they deserve. 

Then we have the workingman, who is more than ecstatic about the day and rejoices in song: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and soon a release from slavery! The weekend…the weekend…it’s here at last…and is it ever going to be great! Lots of wining and dining…carousing and cart wheeling! Nobody can stop we now from doing what we want to do, because now is our time. Yay! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, I wish we were as enthusiastic about our weekends as the workingman is about his. And there’s no reason why we should not be, it’s just that after hearing his song, our sinful nature hungers for the lack of boundaries, the licentiousness that’s open to the workingman which is not open to us as believers in Jesus Christ. (smile) 

Nonetheless, let’s enthusiastically chant our Friday Chant which states our belief. ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, our Leader, Jesus Christ, doesn’t want us involved in the lascivious and lustful activities of the world, that’s why He has sanctified and set us apart. Remember, we should be in the world, but not of the world. That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ 

And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison has another part to it. Yesterday we ended where the angel left Peter in the street and he realized that the Lord had delivered him out of Herod’s deadly clutches. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer), named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace (keep silent), declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.’ (Acts 12:12-17) 

Ah friends, can you imagine how jittery Peter must have been waiting openly in the street, knocking with no one answering. What I want to point out in this message is what the scholars explain here. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16). Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately the same thing happens today: we pray fervently, but don’t believe wholeheartedly. But what’s the point in praying if we don’t truly believe eh friends? None whatsoever. Remember Jesus’ admonishment to the disciples after He cursed the barren fig tree and it died? ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

The only corollary to that my brethren, is that whatever we pray for must be in God’s will, otherwise we won’t receive it, no matter how fervent our pray and strong our belief. So please, as individuals, as well as Christ’s body here on earth, His church, let’s ramp up our belief in our prayers nuh, because as I said yesterday, miracles are still happening each and everyday to those who sincerely believe. Much LOVE!

…you won’t get a miracle…unless you truly believe for one…


 

 


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…

 

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