Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 October 2021 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.     Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

One more time friends, one more time, to celebrate the Lord’s day with praise and worship! It doesn’t matter how or where, because prayer and praise are spiritually lifted up to our heavenly Father. So our physical positions are not all that important, be it in the sanctuary together, or home alone, joined by technology. The most important thing then, is that we agree on our purpose for coming together; that is to give the Lord thanks and praise for His wonderful kindness to the children of men. 

And as always, we begin our proceedings with a song of praise. Today’s song is a favourite old Christian ditty that has provided yeoman’s service to believers down through the years, and has been a useful tool for teaching children about Christ. It’s titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ I don’t know who wrote it, but it sure gets my spirit going, makes me want to offer up sacrificial praise. So let’s sing it from the heart nuh, in a bright, up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song of joy and reassurance. 

‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me love in my heart, I pray. Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!).’ 

Awright friends, that was awesome! You could feel it coming straight from our hearts! And it had to be good, when all of heaven joined in the singing and dancing with us. (smile) They say it’s based on, or alludes to the parable of the ten virgins going to the bridal feast that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:1-13. Five were wise and five were foolish. The first ones took extra oil, just in case the bridegroom was late, but the latter five took none. 

So, as is often the case, the bridegroom was late and the lamps of the last five ran out of oil, and obviously the wise five refused to share theirs. That meant the foolish five had to go and get oil for their lamps, but by the time they returned, the bridegroom had come and the doors were closed and they were refused entry. And the corollary to all that were these simple words from Jesus. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Yes my people, it’s a serious warning that we are to be on constant watch for the bridegroom of the church – Jesus Christ, for He can come at any time. And if He doesn’t find us ready and waiting to come to the bridal feast, then we’ll be left out of all the festivities, headed for eternal separation from the bridegroom, the Saviour. And I can’t emphasize strongly enough how sad such a fate will be. It therefore behooves us to get our act together, right now, to get extra oil for our lamps, that we can wait in the light and not in darkness, and be there ready and waiting, full of joy when our Saviour returns, as He has faithfully promised to do. 

And I like how Jerry L. Ogles, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide Communion, breaks down the verses in an article on their website. For instance, re the first verse, ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning…’ he says: ‘Certainly, we must ask for the right fuel to light our lamps. Lamps filled with water will avail nothing – it must be the kind of oil that BURNS. 

That oil, to the Christian, is the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, is like that oil of the widow woman in 1 Kings 17 whose oil and meal never ran out. We need light for our path, and we have no light if we have no Spirit to guide our feet. Our Lamps must not only contain oil for fuel, but be lit with the fire of faith. The break of day comes with the Sun of Righteousness rising for our final victory in the Lord.’ Glory be my fellow saints! I could not put it any better. 

And per the second verse, ‘Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing…’ he comments thus: ‘The legs by which the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts are those of LOVE. LOVE is the most invincible force known on earth. In fact, Paul tells us that there is one thing that survives death complete, and that is LOVE. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV) 

There is only one kind of truly pure LOVE, and that is of God. LOVE unshared dies in the vessel – we must give it out and see how wonderfully it replenishes itself.’ Mama, oh Mama! Isn’t that the gospel truth! There is nothing that replenishes itself like LOVE! 

Then for the third verse, ‘Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing…’ he declares (steups!): ‘One characteristic that distinguishes the Christian from the common of humanity is JOY expressed under every hardship and trial. This mystifies the world, and they cannot comprehend it. Joy comes through LOVE and prayer. One language of joy is that of song. In my most sorrowful moments, I may sing an old hymn of the Church and suddenly, even without realizing it, find myself as happy as can be in a personal revival of the soul. I never see tears in the eye of the singer of hymns unless they are formed in joy.’ That’s ever so true! 

And for the fourth verse, ‘Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying…’ he explains: ‘Though a child’s song, there is strong doctrinal perspective expressed. Faith is a gift of grace from God. It is the engendering nurture of the Holy Spirit that draws us ever closer to our Lord and inspires our Godly actions and thoughts. Faith is given by God. He sustains our physical being as well as our spiritual souls. We do not dictate the rate our hearts beat any more than we, through our own good intentions, cause our faith to build. 

The Light of Christ is a shared Light from Him. If our lamps are extinguished by winds of doubt, we may share a light from another; however, the original fire comes from God. It is good that our young children are taught the beginning principles of the Gospel through song; and we as adults also benefit in the same way from the singing of the biblical and classical hymns of the Church.’ 

More gospel truth friends. And I do hope that as we enjoy our Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, we will indeed spend some time pondering on the Lord’s Word and His awesome goodness to our undeserving souls, and give real and sincere thanks for all the wonderful things we enjoy in this good land of Canada! Much LOVE!

…a heart filled with God…is one filled with joy and thanksgiving…                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.     ​For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Wow! It’s already Thursday! The week is flying by like lightning! (smile) But unfortunately, our world is getting even more divisive and strife-filled with each passing day. Steups! What’s it about us eh, that we can’t simply get along? Are our pride, greed and foolish attitudes so strong as to cause our society to implode? Because that’s exactly what’s happening; we’re exploding from within! Nothing outside is affecting us, but merely the things that are within. 

Chuh! The human animal, the only one supposedly with wisdom and understanding, is the only one that kills itself for no good reason, that has strife amongst its members for paltry, petty, simplistic reasons. And then we beat our chests and manfully crow that we’re victors! Hogwash! Heifer dust! If the violence and hate and all the negative emotions don’t cease soon, we’ll become extinct like so many other of God’s creations that we’ve killed off. Only difference is that instead of being made extinct by outside forces, we’ll be doing it ourselves. Hurray for the human animal that’s so full of wisdom and understanding! 

And yuh know the only thing that can save us is a total revival; a complete return to the sincere worshipping of Jehovah God! Yes friends, only if we turn from our sinful ways and habits and get back to worshipping the ONE TRUE God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will our society not undergo serious disaster and eventual destruction. And when that happens, if our souls and spirits are not wrapped up with Jesus, then crapaud smoke we pipe! We just S.O.L! As simple as that! 

And I think we should continue where we left off yesterday, talking about the ant and the sluggard, and being prepared for whenever Jesus returns, possibly like a thief in the night, suddenly, without any warning. Remember what Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians? ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) 

And what does that mean? Hear the scholars brief answer. ‘5:2. The day of the Lord is the all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom. The Old Testament expression is here identified with the ‘parousia’ (Second Coming) already introduced. It will begin unexpectedly.’ 

Oh friends, there is scholarly dissension of the time period between the Rapture and the Great Tribulation, but it’s fairly sure that the Rapture will be the first stage of Jesus’ second coming. That’s where ‘the dead in Christ shall rise. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever (always) be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ (1 Thess. 16c-18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation for that last verse. ‘4:18. Comfort: The Christian’s hope of the resurrection brings solace in the face of death – in contrast to the hopelessness of the heathen.’ And isn’t that wonderful news my believing brethren? For sure! Believing in Christ Jesus gives us something to look forward to with great anticipation and expectant joy, while the unbeliever has nothing to look forward to. That alone should propel us to come to Jesus and surrender our lives and souls to Him. 

But be all of that as it may, before Jesus comes again, we have much work to do and preparations to make so that we can be ready for whatever time He comes. Thus Bruh Paul continues after our Bit with this important warning. ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Oh precious people, those are indeed comforting words! To know that believers will be saved from the wrath of God in the Great Tribulation should make us run to Christ and cling to Him for dear life! And since we know not when, not even Jesus knew, as He said to His disciples: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ (Matt. 24:36) But come He will! That’s why we’re supposed to be wise and get ready, RIGHT NOW! 

We need to be like the ten wise virgins who took extra oil for their lamps, just in case the bridegroom came late to the wedding feast, as he unfortunately did, and the ten foolish ones who took no extra oil were locked out of the feast. ( Matt. 25:1-13) And we certainly don’t want that happening to us, so let’s be prepared for all emergencies and get a little more oil for our lamps to keep them burning, burning till the break of day! (smile) That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! 

Now let’s go home proclaiming our Thursday Blessings which our magnanimous God has so generously granted us to do His earthly work. All together, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘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 as always, the corollary to that is to now go out and share those blessings with others, as generously as God shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…watch therefore…for ye know not…at what hour…your Lord doth come… (Matt. 24:42)