Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2018 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

And then it was Monday again…so I guess most of you readers are already at work, struggling after a partying weekend…but not my people, because we know better than that. (smile) Uncharacteristically though, I’ve been sleeping through most of the day. I guess the ole bod needs the rest. I’m not doing badly though, should be out of here tomorrow. 

But let’s do what we have to do, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it’s prayer and is useful at any time of day or night. As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Glory be my people! Prayer is such a wonderful thing! It not only connects us to our Triune God Head, but it also uplifts our souls and spirits at the same time. What could be better than that eh? That’s why it’s the most important weapon in a believer’s arsenal. And it’s possibly why I am still alive and kicking today; because of all the pleading prayers you all made on my behalf. 

So please, let us never belittle or downplay the power of prayer, especially since it’s the method the Creator chose for us to communicate with Him. As He says in our Bit today: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-1).’ 

And in these modern times where sin and evil are so prevalent, do we ever need to pray for help to overcome our numerous problems. That’s why in the New Testament we’re told so often about prayer and praying. Like Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That doesn’t necessarily mean every minute of every day, but on a regular basis. Prayer should just be a thought away from our minds. And Bruh Paul told Timothy that ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Meanwhile James admonishes: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with the oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yuh see friends, prayer is helpful in every situation of our daily walk with Christ! Be it in the church or out of it. And Bruh Paul reminds us in Ephesians, that even when we put on the life-saving armour of God, we still need prayer to help us along. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer, God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means ‘being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my people, I couldn’t have put it any better. And I believe the best way to end this refresher course on prayer is with the prayer that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taught us. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen!’ (Matt.6:9-13) 

Please friends and fellow believers, let’s remember to never belittle the power of prayer, instead, let’s wisely lift it up to the great heights that it is supposed to take in our lives nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and to keep on praying…that is wisdom of the highest order…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now.  ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Ah friends, at long last a somewhat cloudy day in my area! And with it seems to be coming some heavenly precipitation. So far it’s only a slight sprinkle, but it’s better than nothing, for we haven’t seen rain around here in ages. 

And although it’s nice to have sunny days, we also need some showers of blessing to balance out the situation. The ground around here is parched and thirsty, let’s hope it gets some much needed relief today. 

But yuh see how life can be contrary? Places down south have been having oodles of rain and little sunshine, while we up here have been having lots of sunshine and no rain. The only redeeming factor is that our great and wonderful God is still in control of the universe He created! 

Glory to God! So we know that there is a purpose, a plan to every move that happens within it, because our God does not move ‘vikey vie’ (without purpose). 

And with all that being said, the workingman has already declared his Friday anthem: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…even though it look cloudy! But come rain or come shine, we still going to have a good time this weekend! 

Partying fuh so mih breddren! Who going to stop we eh? Nobody! Not even God in His high heaven! So we thank Him for Fridays and the weekends!’ 

Yeh mih people, the workingman, as usual, has gone a tad too far in planning his weekend reverie. All he’s doing there is opening up himself for the always-lurking enemy, Lucifer, to come in and lay siege to his life. 

We Christian brethren cannot afford to be so lax and boundary less, since we don’t want the enemy to get even a toehold in our lives. And though our Friday Chant is not as effusive as the workingman’s anthem, it surely serves our purposes better. 

So let’s chant it now with supreme enthusiasm nuh. ‘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.’ 

Yuh see friends, we’re still open to having fun and partying, but just not to the extreme degree that the workingman goes to. It’s also important that we prepare for the upcoming week, so that come Monday, we can go back out into the evil and ungodly world and diligently do the Lord’s work. 

And to do that successfully, our Christian lives need to have boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and High Priest Jesus Christ! And if we don’t have them, then we can’t function properly in His economy. 

Now please don’t think that we’re missing out on anything because we don’t behave like leggo- beast, (smile) lecherous and decadent, for we still have lots of good, clean fun within Jesus’ parameters. 

And one of the main ways we stay within those parameters is by taking His sage advice in our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s not forget that prayer is our ultimate form of communication with our heavenly Father. And if we don’t pray, don’t communicate with Him, then we won’t know what plans and purposes He has for our lives. 

And He DOES have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, as He says in Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

My brethren, our merciful and ever-LOVING God ALWAYS has good thoughts and plans for us. There’s no sense in Him creating us in His own image, then thinking evil towards us. Anyway, we’ll end this series of messages on prayer with the classic example of prayer that Jesus gave us.

The Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1) 

And Jesus responded: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that simple but all-encompassing prayer, but do we pray it, or some version of it? Not enough I believe. On the whole, I don’t think we communicate with our great and wonderful God enough, and that’s only to our detriment. For our sakes, as well as our children’s, let’s try and improve it nuh. Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates…that a believer prays…always…and forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Sorry that the Bit is a tad on the late side friends, but I had an Ironman’s Breakfast to go to early this morning at the church. And like every time I go out I seem to come back tired, so I had to rest a spell. Chuh! I’m tired of being tired yes! 

The great thing about this Ironman side though, is that none of us are under fifty…and possibly older. What a hoot! But we do get done the things we need to get done. And that’s the important thing. 

Now since today is Saturday, let’s contemplate a few of our Friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week. And this first one is very interesting and meaningful to many of us. ‘If I have something to say, I want it to be meaningful.’ 

Oh friends, so often, especially in this world of social media, we talk such foolishness; stuff that doesn’t deserve to be even thought about, much less spoken! Where has the wisdom gone of if you don’t have anything sensible to say, shut up? I guess that we all feel that what we’re saying is sensible. I beg to differ. 

This second quote is also interesting and pertains very nicely to our Christian faith. ‘Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.’ And isn’t that gospel truth! As Christians, we’re taught that ‘this too shall pass.’ 

And that better had be true, because that’s what I’m counting on in these days of medical malaise. (smile) But under no circumstance are we ever to quit, for quitting does not exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. Every time we fail or fall, we’re to get right back up, and with God’s help, continue pushing forward.  

And the last quote says: ‘A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.’ 

Now that is ever so true! I’ve seen it happen over a lifetime, where the most talented are the least motivated, and the ones that rise to the pinnacle of their profession, are usually the least talented but hardest working. 

Some might even dare to put me in that category, especially my High School Principal, who liked to write on my report card: ‘Lazy boy, could do better.’ But I don’t think I’m that talented in any particular area. I’m more a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. (smile) 

Anyway, here is our Bit for today: ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ And this is definitely the last day for it. I just never got in all I had to say yesterday. 

Now we’re going to quote some of Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, per the new life in Christ, when we’re born again. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; 

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:22-24) 

Yes friends, when we receive Christ, we’re to renounce our old way of living, and renew our minds with the things of God, constantly improving, getting stronger in our walk of faith. 

Then Bruh Paul offers some practical guidelines on how to throw off the old man and put on the new. Here are a few of them. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for edifying, that it may minister grace unto hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Yeh mih breddren, those are just some of the things we need to work towards when we become Christians. And please notice how Bruh Paul ends the exhortation; with the tenet on forgiving. 

Ah mih people, forgiving in our Christian faith is so important, that I’ll end this series on it by reminding us of some of Jesus’ words on the subject. 

‘And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:25-26) 

That says it all my fellow believers. So until we meet again tomorrow, the Lord in favour, please let’s get serious about practicing forgiveness nuh, because however we mete it out, that’s exactly how it will be meted back out to us. Much LOVE!

…and forgive us our debts…as we forgive our debtors… (Matt.6:12)