Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2019 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.     Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

And the clock ticks…and the seconds, minutes, hours and the days roll by…until they come to Monday…then they just seem to stop, to hang there in mid-air, as though everything suddenly gone in limbo! Oh how we wish that were true eh and we didn’t have to get up and get out and begin a new work week! 

And for many of us it’s actually true because this is Carnival Monday, the beginning of the yearly bacchanalian festival in several parts of the world the two days before Ash Wednesday…but nothing to touch the Ole Mas celebration in T&T this Monday morning! 

That is where you get real down and ‘dutty’ (dirty), playing in any ole and dirty looking costume, but making sure yuh ketch a steelband coming down the road beating a sweet bomb tune, so you and yuh lady and yuh friends and them could carry on in the street, wine down in the road, carray yuh body any ole how, (ramajay), and just get on bad and disgusting. (smile) 

Well that use to be ole mas, don’t know what it morph into these days since I don’t take part in it again. Don’t even know if they still have Bomb Competition – the steelbands beating some favourite tune as they come out on the road Monday morning, vying for Best Bomb Tune. And ah laughing here as I remember some of them ole times. 

But leh we move on yes, because some people have to go to work, and they even more distraught than ever because they missing carnival in T&T. So to help us all this Carnival Monday, let’s belt out we Monday Morning Battle Hymn, even if we heart not truly in it, and we mind somewhere down in T&T misbehaving in the road. (smile)  

All together 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!’ 

And yeh friends, ah know we feeling better after that, but still…we’d rather be somewhere else partying, making a fool of we self, in the hot weather. But them’s the breaks, so we just have to grin and bear it and get out there and labour in Jesus name. Yeh, reminisce li’l bit every so often, but doh daydream the day away on the people work nuh, because then you’ll be stealing their time and Jesus wouldn’t approve of that. (smile) 

Break the spell by telling yuhself that if God spare yuh life, next year Carnival not going to catch yuh up here in this cold weather, but in some warm, tropical climate playing a serious mas, and then seriously start saving yuh money and vacation time from now! And since I know plenty of you won’t like my suggestions, I’m turning to Cousin Sol to pass on a father’s wisdom. Hope you’ll listen to him, cause he was once the wisest man in the world. 

‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. 

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov.4:1-7) 

Yes my brethren, wisdom, knowledge and understanding are the most important aspects of living a fruitful and sensible life. And how do we get all that? Friends, it begins with this warning from Cousin Sol: ‘The fear of the Lord (reverential awe) is the beginning of knowledge (principal beginning): but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) 

Ah mih people, until and unless we revere the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, true wisdom, knowledge and understanding will NEVER be ours. Why? Because that’s where it all comes from! 

As James says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Yuh see friends, a wise life all has to do with reverence for God, blended with sincere trust and faith in His Word, His promises and plans for our lives. And Cousin Sol ends that li’l speech by declaring (right ho): ‘Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou doest embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace, a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:8-9) 

Yes my people, that’s how powerful and important true wisdom and understanding are in our lives. We talking about that wisdom and understanding which comes from and through God, not the worldly stuff. So stop with all the horrors about carnival! Now that we finally see the light nuh, leh we go and do the people work and forget about carnival, because that is what Jesus expects of us. (smile) Much LOVE!

…thinking too much about mas…is not a sign of true wisdom…(smile)


Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2019 Lamentations 3:23.

Lamentations 3:23.   ​They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 

Looks like it’s another day in the deep freeze…but not to worry, it’s the end of January, so we’ve only got another couple months of winter to go through. (smile) Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about the weather in these parts nuh but grin and bear it. And as believers in Jesus Christ we have even more ammunition than most to handle it in our stride. Glory be! It’s not easy, no, it isn’t, but with Jesus beside and in us, we can do ALL things through Him who strengthens us! 

Give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome promise my people! For without that beautiful scripture strengthening us, many more would have already fallen prey to the enemy and his deceitful wiles and ways. And I’m laughing here because I don’t know how to continue after that wonderful and encouraging opening? I know that I asked Him to ‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (Ps.141:3) But I only wanted Him to hinder my talking, not my writing too. (smile) 

Yeh friends, as strange as it might seem, the ole fella is at a loss for words, but I’m not worried because I know the Lord will pick up the slack and eventually have me writing even more than I anticipated. That’s how much I value His faithfulness! Over the last what…twelve years now that I’ve been writing the Bit, He hasn’t failed me one time, so why would He now eh? Especially since it’s His Word I’m trying to propagate. 

Now that’s a place where many of us either have a hard time or just simply fail! I’m talking about remembering God’s earlier faithfulness in our lives and holding on to His promises of I’ll never leave you nor forsake you in times of trials and tribulations. That’s exactly what killed the Israelites when they came out of Egypt: they forgot the wonderful works that God had worked on their behalf when trials struck them in the wilderness. 

Look at some of those things nuh. He had Moses part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land, then drowned the Egyptian army behind them. He had Moses strike a tree in Marah when all they could find was bitter water, making it sweet and drinkable, even getting Moses angry and disobeying God, so that he never entered the Promised Land, only saw it from afar. 

Who led them by a cloud during the day and a burst of fire during the night eh? It was the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But they forgot His goodness and mercy, even to the point of making a golden image when Moses was up the mountain getting the Ten Commandments. And then they got tired of the manna the Lord was feeding them and even contemplated a return to slavery in Egypt so they could get their old food. 

That’s why they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years, until all the people who came out of Egypt beside Joshua and Caleb died. And they didn’t even notice that in those forty years their clothes didn’t get old or their sandals worn out. Why eh? Because even in their disobedience and lack of faithfulness the Lord their God was still looking after them! Glory be to the Most High God Jehovah! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us in these trying times are forgetting the good and merciful works of God earlier on in our lives and thus suffering more than is necessary. But Jeremiah says it very clearly in his Lamentations when the Lord seemed to have come up against him. 

He opens Chapter 3 by declaring (wrong): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath…I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. 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 (beat me down) 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: 1,14-20) 

Ah friends, though most of what Jeremiah is lamenting refers to the trials of the disobedient Israelites, he himself suffered much on the Lord’s behalf. But then he continues: ‘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.’ (Lam.3:21-23) 

Yes my people, we desperately need to remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, especially in times of trial. We can never truly deserve whatever He offers, and it’s only because of His LOVING-kindness that we’re not utterly destroyed. So for those of us who have seen and personally felt that LOVING-kindness, please let’s not forget it at a future date nuh, when it seems that the Lord is dragging His feet or just not answering our pleas. Who knows, He might just be testing our faithfulness. 

Friends, please, please, let’s not fall into the category where Jesus rebuked the disciples for their unbelief when they couldn’t heal a mentally disturbed man. ‘O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither to me.’ (Matt.17:17) 

Neither let us have to be rebuked like Jesus did to Thomas for his doubting. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, Jesus was there talking about people like us, who never saw Him in person, yet have believed in Him. Please, I implore us not to stop believing even though circumstances might be driving us to do so. Remember, His compassions, His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is everlastingly great! Now let us go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, restoring our unstoppable faith, by letting the world know our remarkable position in Christ Jesus! 

All together 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 it will indeed be a most glorious future in Christ’s heavenly realm! Much LOVE!

…Job’s motto of faithfulness…though he slay me…yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15a)  

P.S. Yuh see friends, I wasn’t lying about the Lord’s faithfulness. He certainly led me to write more than I intended! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

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 21 February 2018 Luke 18:1.

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

Looks like it’s going to be another warm, wet and rainy day in my neck of the woods…but that’s better than a cold, white and snowy one any time! (smile) Yeh friends, the winter weather seems to have eased up a little, and are we ever thankful for small mercies! 

And today it seems like we’ll be dealing with prayer in some form and fashion, so let’s begin with two tidbits on the subject. The first comes from the renowned Pastor, F.B. Meyer, who reputedly said that ‘The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.’ 

And there seems to be a lot of truth in that statement, for it’s not that God doesn’t answer our prayers, but rather we don’t pray enough. And why is that eh mih people, when we keep saying that prayer is the most powerful weapon in the world? 

I don’t know nuh. It’s possibly because we don’t truly believe it, or we’ve offered up prayer to our heavenly Father that was not in His will and He refused to answer it, so we end up believing that prayer is a waste of time. But please remember my brethren, the Lord only answers prayer when it’s within His will. 

You can’t go and ask Him for a whole lot of worldly things to satisfy your fleshly desires and expect Him to answer you positively, or even answer you at all. Remember too, that He looks at the motives of our hearts, rather than the words we utter through our mouths, for they can be very different to what’s really in our hearts. 

And the next thing we want to say about prayer, is that it should be our FIRST CHOICE, not our LAST RESORT. Mama Mia! 

And is that ever a problem in the lives of many believers. When a problem arises we’re quick to run to the phone or the I-pad or whatever form of social media we’re using and ask our friends and acquaintances for help, and only when we can’t get a man-made solution, we run to God in desperation and expect Him to help us immediately. 

That’s so wrong my people. In ALL circumstances, God should be the FIRST person we run to, and if He so desires, then He will direct us to go to other people. Remember that our God doesn’t like to play second fiddle. If He can’t be first fiddle, then He doesn’t want to be in the band. (smile) 

And you know it’s amusing that when troubles hit a lot of people who don’t really believe in God, the first words out of their mouths are ‘Oh God!’ So you see friends, two of our basic problems in our prayer life is that we don’t go to God FIRST, and we don’t offer up enough prayers that fall within the realm of God’s will. 

Consequently, our Bit for today is based on the wise and wonderful advice of Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ 

Oh my believing brethren, if our Lord and Saviour said it, then it must be true. And we have a whole lot of examples of Him constantly getting alone and praying to His heavenly Father. In fact, prayer ruled His life; He did nothing of significance without first consulting the Father, and so should we. 

And Jesus is not the only one who advises us to be strong in prayer. Bruh Paul famously tells us in 1 Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) And to Timothy, he writes: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Yuh see friends, prayer should be our constant companion, because that’s how we communicate with God. If we are to take ALL our problems to Him, then it’s logical to expect to do a lot of praying in many different places. Oh my brethren, I can’t over emphasize the importance of prayer in a believer’s life, for it’s the basis of all we say and do, it’s how God leads and guides us, in conjunction with His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. 

Now listen to this interesting example of Bruh David crying out to God in prayer, as he pleads for protection against his oppressors. ‘Hear the right (a just cause), O Lord, attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, that goeth forth not out of feigned (deceitful) lips. 

Let my sentence (vindication) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal (upright). Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:1-3) 

Now that’s a wonderful prayer friends, but not all of us have the gift of words that Bruh David had, and the Lord doesn’t really need any long and involved prayers, simple but heartfelt words will do. But the important thing is that we pray’ pray often and pray everywhere, without losing heart. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail to proudly let the world know of our wonderful association with Jesus. With loud voice and strong sense of purpose 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 that future is surely going to be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…a future with Jesus could not be anything…but marvellous and glorious…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2017 Psalm 55:16.

Psalm 55:16.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

‘Alive! Still alive! Still alive and kicking! Give God the glory!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella is still alive and kicking! What an honour! 

That means God still has some plan for me to accomplish. And though I might not be kicking as healthily and actively as I’d like, once I’m alive, I have hope that things can get better. But if I’m not alive, things can’t get any better here on earth. (smile) 

So let’s praise our wonderful God and give Him much, much thanks for everyday we open our eyes to a bright new morning with Jesus the focus of our lives. Glory to God! 

So it’s Friday and the workingman is overjoyed at his short stint of upcoming freedom, and understandably shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! No more labour till Monday! We going to laugh and sing and party like there was no tomorrow…

For who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! So let’s party up a storm and enjoy the fruits of we labour nuh like Cousin Sol, the wisest man ever, advised. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’  

And Cousin Sol did advise that my friends, but I don’t think he meant for us to go overboard with it, as the workingman seems to advocate. I believe he would have liked to see some boundaries, boundaries that did not allow the enemy to get into our lives. 

He’d much prefer a statement along the lines of our Friday Chant, which advocates a tad more circumspection. So let’s give voice to our Friday Chant nuh…declare it like we truly mean it. ‘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 mih people, I guess that’s what you’d call erring on the safe side (smile). But there is an enormous benefit to it; spending more time with God and less with the enemy! And anytime we can do that, we’re winning the battle of life. 

That brings us to our Bit; the proclamation of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – the cry against deceitful friends. In the midst of it all, he faithfully and boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.’ 

What awesome faith my brethren! How many of us boldly make such declarations when the trials and tribulations of life are coming against us eh? Not as many as should, I’d dare to say. 

When times are good, we talk a good talk, but when they get rough, the exact time when we desperately need God, too many of us forget Him, give up hope and allow the ever-lurking enemy to confuffle us even further. That’s foolish, unproductive and ungodly behaviour my fellow believers, which severely detracts from our faith walk. 

Instead, we should be declaring powerful acclamations like Bruh David did after our Bit: ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Psalm 55:17) Yeh precious people of God, when our prayers are constantly being floated up to heaven, we are assured of more assurance in our faith walk. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) And the scholars tell us that ‘the constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude (even) in the face of adversity.’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Not a whole lot. To be grateful in the rough times is the mark of a true believer. And Bruh Paul also exhorted Timothy to prayer when he wrote. ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So again we see that prayer should not only be constant, but it can be done anywhere, preferably ‘with a pure life without disputes.’ 

And we won’t forget to mention Jesus’ advice on the subject. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ’18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ Exactly the message I’ve been trying to covey my fellow believers. 

Now we’ll close with a powerful example of what we’re talking about. It’s about Daniel, when his enemies plotted against him and had the king sign a law that forbade anyone to ‘ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.’ (Dan.6:7b). 

They knew that the only way they could get to Daniel was through his God. But Daniel was not perturbed. The Good Book tells us: ‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing (written decree) was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing all along). 

Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.’ (Dan.6:10-11) 

And we all know the story how Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den but the Lord stopped them from harming him. 

Oh friends, examples like Daniel have been placed in the Word to encourage and uplift us, so that we too can take courage in the efficacy of prayer. Please, let’s use them productively nuh, like our caring and compassionate God intended. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and still yet to pray…that is the answer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2016 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

One more day friends, one more day! Glory Hallelujah! Yes, we’ve been granted, blessed with life to enjoy another day on God’s great earth! It’s a generous present from our heavenly Father, so we ought to be grateful and use it wisely, following whatever plan He has designed for our lives. 

It’s not to be used in riotous living or perpetrating dark, evil deeds, but for good and godly purposes, whereby our Father can be glorified. Remember, glorifying God is one of our most important jobs down here one earth. In fact, everything we do or say should in some way add to His glorification. 

And having gotten that straight, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week, Anselm seems to have been rather preoccupied with lies and lying, for all the quotes dealt with some aspect of untruth.  

Here is the first one: ‘A person who says they will never lie to you is probably lying already.’ And does that ever ring true! For if anyone has to convince us that they are telling the truth, then it adds a sort of false ring to their words and quickly raises our suspicions.  

The second quote says: ‘Never lie to someone who trusts you. Never trust someone who lies to you.’ Now that is excellent advice, for trust is very hard to come by, but can very easily be lost! 

But here is my favourite quote of Anselm’s for this week. ‘Never lie to a woman’s question. Sometimes she already knows the answer. That’s why she is asking.’ 

Ah mih male breddren, that is something for us to truly sit and ponder, since women can be so devious when they are ready. And you women reading this, please don’t get all up in arms, because that is the gospel truth! (smile) They’ll often ask an incriminating question, to which they already know the answer, just to see our response, to see if they can catch us lying. 

Ah Lord eh! The wiles that we use against each other! Seriously though my people, lies cause so many problems that we must all try to avoid them as much as possible, rather DON’T LIE AT ALL! That’s what our Saviour and our faith teaches us. 

Once upon a time I used to lie, and I think I was pretty good at it, (smile) but eventually I realized that lying caused more problems than it solved, because for every lie you told, you had to make up another one to cover the one before it, and the lies just keep multiplying until you forget whom you’ve told what, and in the long run you get caught out anyway. 

So it’s always better to tell the truth, even though it may get you in hot water. And I can certainly remember getting in plenty hot water for telling the truth, (smile) but then your conscience is clear and you don’t have to worry about what you’ve said to whom. Now I never set out to preach a sermon on lying, but we never know where the Holy Spirit will lead us. 

And likewise, it lead me unawares to today’s Bit. As I was flipping through the Good Book, looking for something I could get my head around, I suddenly came upon it, and realized right away that that was my Eureka moment. So what does it say? ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Ah friends, Cousin Sol never spoke truer words! 

But before we get into any scriptures that corroborate it, let’s hear from the scholars. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. 

The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Yes friends, before one can acquire wisdom, one has to have a reverential awe of the Lord because it is through Him that wisdom is dispensed. What did James say on the subject? ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach), and it shall be given him. 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Yuh see mih people; wisdom comes from God, but we must have the right awe and respect for Him, and when we ask for it, there must be no doubting in our spirit, else He won’t grant it to us. And we’ll end with some precious words from Job, in chapter 28, re wisdom being the gift of God. 

The scholars tell us: ’28:1-28. This chapter is one of the most beautiful poems on wisdom found in the Scriptures. After describing how laboriously man works to extract the ores and precious metals from the earth (vv. 1-11), Job raises the ultimate question of the sufferer. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?’ (v.12). 

It cannot be purchased with earthly wealth (vv.13-19) but is conveyed only through the controlling factor of the fear of the Lord. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (v.28). The concept of the fear of the Lord unites all the wisdom books (cf. Prov.1:7; Eccl.12:13).’ 

Yes friends, without a healthy respect for the Lord God Jehovah, wisdom will never be ours. So if we’re smart, (smile) we’ll begin developing that healthy respect and awe right now! Much LOVE!

…the first aspect of wisdom…is fearing God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2016 Psalm 77:13‏‏‏‏

Psalm 77:13.   Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?

And the day that the working people LOVE so much, Friday, has finally rolled around again. That’s why there are so many glorious and joyous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I couldn’t make it even one more day in this slave work nuh! At last the weekend! My time to play and do whatever I want! Oh thank you ever so much Lord for Fridays! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And in these trying times of early waking up and much travelling to get back and forth to work with all the traffic jams and otherwise, you can understand the sentiment of the ordinary working man. And though we are entitled to do whatever we want with the weekend, there is a wise and a foolish way to use it; the latter involving excessive partying and frivolity. 

But listen to the better and wiser way to use our weekends as we chant our Friday Chant. ‘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.’ 

Now doesn’t that make much more sense as to how we use our weekends? It surely does! We get a better balance of life, including the strength and refreshed spirit so that we can work diligently the following week. 

And today my fellow believers in Christ, I want to share with you a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. This one is titled, ‘A Prayer for Change.’ And I know that many of us are in dire need of change (s) in our lives. So please pray with me. 

‘O God, when a life has been so richly blessed as mine has been, it’s not right for me not to be laughing! I confess that I am responsible for my moods. I have no right to selfishly indulge in negative feelings of self-pity. 

It’s time for me to change my mental dial, Lord. You are helping me. This will be the moment when the sun breaks through the parted clouds, and the springtime returns after winter. Thank you, Lord! 

The dreary, depressing, disconsolate mood disappears like the morning mist in the glowing sunshine of your LOVE. And joy moves in! And hope begins to build up within me! And a beautiful feeling of LOVE starts to surround me! Thank you, God, for the great things you are doing within me now in this moment of prayer. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, I do hope that depressing mood has lifted and the hope, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father has once more captured our lives, because it’s definitely what we need to confidently face the challenges and calamitous circumstances of this dangerous and evil world! 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which shows us that that very change in our moods and thinking are quite possible because of the outstanding, magnificent and omnipotent God we serve and worship. ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ 

And I know that some of you are tired hearing about how great our God is, but my brethren, that’s exactly what makes Him our God; His greatness! And until we fully understand just how great and wonderful He is, we will never be fully able to surrender, to give our entire beings into His wonderful care. So just bear with the ole fella nuh, (smile) you know I’ll never lead you astray. 

And we’ve seen over the past few days how our God played with Pharaoh until he let the Israelites go, and all the wonders the Lord did during their exodus from Egypt and those in the wilderness too. Now we come to one more marvelous wonder where water was miraculously supplied. 

As usual the Israelites were complaining, this time about the lack of water. And as was his wont, Moses cried out to the Lord for guidance and direction. The Lord told him to take his rod and the elders with him and go on before the people. 

‘Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

And he called the name of the place Massah (lit. Tempted), and Meribah (lit. Contention), because of the chiding (contention) of the children of Israel, and because they tempted (tested) the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?’ (Ex.17:6-7) 

Oh friends, what a foolish and ignorant people! After all the signs and wonders that the Lord had done in their sight, they still doubted His presence and His power! Chuh! 

The truth of the matter though is that we can’t be too harsh on the Israelites, because we are doing the exact same thing right now. We are doubting and turning away from God in droves, aided and abetted by the wiles and deceitful half-truths of the prince of darkness, who rules this current evil world. 

The only difference here my people, is that the Israelites saw God’s miracles first hand, but we only have second hand accounts of them. But nonetheless, we have seen our Christian societies grow and prosper when were a truly Christian people. 

So what has happened to change our outlook so drastically eh, that we’re now trying our best to take God completely out of our lives? Oh friends, that is indeed a fool’s wisdom! 

How many times during the course of history have we seen societies that have grown great while serving and worshipping the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and when they got too big for their britches, the Lord took away His favour and protection and they eventually wasted away, ignominiously fell into the bowels of history? 

We tend to overlook, forget, or simply ignore this seminal bit of scripture, the Lord’s advice to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

That my friends, has been, and will always be a society’s guideline to success. We see it in the very behaviour of the Israelites; when they adhered to God’s Word, they prospered; when they didn’t, they suffered serious calamity. 

May we today understand this principle and do our best to adhere to the Word of our great, mighty, sovereign and omnipotent God, because that is wisdom to the nth degree. Much LOVE!

…it’s ever so foolish to turn away from the ONE who created you…in His…might, power and image…

 

 

 

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