Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

All together 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 He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2016 Psalm 33:15‏

Psalm 33:15.   He fashioneth their hearts alike (individually); he considereth (understands) all their works.

And it was Friday friends… and the rains came during the night…the early rain to water the dry and thirsty land, to irrigate the soil and make it more amenable to the sowing of good seed. 

And during that time lightning flashed sporadically, while Thor also beat his drums furiously, having the thunderous sound roll across the heavens in a mighty show of his awesome power! (smile) 

In other words friends, we had a big thunderstorm last night that provided much needed heavenly blessings for the earth, thus giving us a wet and cloudy Friday the 13th morning. 

Yes it is one of those superstitious Friday the 13th days that happen every so often during the year, and many of us will be on our p’s and q’s desperately trying to do, or not to do certain things that cause bad luck on such days. 

But precious people such belief is unworthy of a true believer in Jesus, because it’s just what it says it is – superstition – and can’t harm us in any way. 

And you’d note that a majority of the working populace are still shouting out loud and clear; ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is here! Forget about massa and his slave labour! It’s party time; we time to do what we want. Thank God ever so much for Friday’s oui!’ 

And again I have to warn us that lustful and licentious behaviour should not be the main aspects of our weekend, because that just digs us into a deeper hole of sin and sorrow. What we need are activities that are more in tune with our Friday Chant, which we’ll now proclaim with the appropriate sincerity and truth. 

‘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, the basic reason for the weekend is for us to rest and rejuvenate ourselves through godly fellowship, so that we can be strong and steadfast when the new workweek rolls along, not a tired, miserable, hung-over mess like so many of us end up being on a Monday morning. 

But enough of my haranguing, you’ll still do whatever you like. (smile) So let’s turn to our Bit, which gives us some insight into the wonderful workings of our ever-LOVING and omnipotent God. ‘He fashioneth their hearts alike (individually); he considereth (understands) all their works.’ 

Yes my brethren, our God has fashioned each of our hearts individually, we haven’t come off of a production line, where everything is the same. And on top of that, He takes a special and particular interest in every soul that He’s made. 

Listen, as the psalmist continues after our Bit. ‘There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing (false hope) for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.’ (Ps.33:16-19) 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about the strength and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent God Jehovah, not about man’s strength which is sorely limited! 

And as Job’s friend, Elihu says so eloquently in his chastisement of Job: ‘For his (the Lord’s) eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.’ (Job 34:21-22) 

And as true believers, we all know that as gospel truth! The Lord looks down from His high heaven on all of us, and there’s no place that any of us can run or hide from His all-seeing, omniscient power. As Bruh David so wisely and wonderfully declares in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (Sheol), behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me (fall on, hide me); even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee (is not dark to thee); but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

Oh what beautiful words of scripture, my people! Gospel truth in black and white! There’s nowhere we can run or hide from our Creator, as so many of us futilely try to do. 

And we’ll end with these most appropriate words from Jeremiah’s prayer. ‘Great in counsel, and mighty in work (deed): for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.’ (Jer.32:19) 

That says it all friends! Our God is continually looking down on us, checking our ways, so that He can meet out to us whatever we deserve. That means we just have to buckle down and live according to His will, if we want to receive His wondrous blessings and mercies. Much LOVE!

…why try to fight or hide from a God…who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent… that’s a fool’s wisdom…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b

Nehemiah 8:10b.    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Oh Friends, I’ve got such a joy deep down in my soul this Thursday morning in June that I just can’t contain it! Wow! That joy just makes me feel like shouting out to the world what God has done for me! And I surely hope that you’re feeling the same way too, for that’s the beauty and benefit of being a true believer!

Oh my people, I’m talking about His unconditional LOVE, His constantly available grace and never-ending mercy, then the beautiful essence of forgiveness… and don’t even talk about salvation and eternal life! Oh my my! And what shall we say to the biggest blessing of all eh; His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Leader, Lord and Saviour!

Mama Mia! What an awesome Deity we serve and worship my brethren! So how can we ever doubt or believe that the great God who created us, doesn’t LOVE and care for us eh? Steups!

What more has He got to do my brethren before we can comfortably and assuredly put our entire trust in him, to completely surrender our souls, minds and bodies to His superior guidance through the work and presence of His Holy Spirit?

I really don’t know what it will realistically take for the numerous unbelievers and backsliders to truly understand what this life is all about nuh, one controlled by the mighty but magnanimous hand of Almighty God.

Ah Friends, we’re such small-minded doubters and disbelievers that it isn’t funny. So much so that even if God did miracles in our lives every day, we’d still have doubts and refuse to believe. But here’s the good news Friends, we, a relatively small band of true believers are here to change the world, we’re going to make a radical difference.

And the best way to do that is by living lives honouring God, giving Him all the glory. And don’t think that we can’t do it because we’re too few, for if we listen to this quote by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) the famous American cultural anthropologist, we’ll see that it’s very possible.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

Gospel truth that, my people! Whatever serious changes that’s ever been wrought in our world have always been by a relatively small group of its population, and with the awesome power of Jesus riding shotgun with us… Oh my Friends, all and everything is possible!

And believe you me, that’s exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; to bring some radical changes to this wicked and godless world by spreading the good news of His gospel that’s overflowing with the most important elements of PEACE and LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, GRACE, SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

And all God’s people joyfully shouted out: ‘All praise, honour and glory be to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of heaven and earth, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein!’

Now Friends, joy is something that’s always supposed to be in the spirit of the believer. As such, we therefore need to continually remember the words of our Bit: …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Yes my people, without God’s joy coursing through our spirits, we are weaklings. That’s why Lucifer is always trying to steal our joy, because then he knows he can get his evil claws into us without too much effort.  

And if you listen to Jesus when He was talking to the disciples about the vine and the branches, you’d hear Him say to them. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) It’s obvious my people that we do need the joy found in Jesus to be able to live this earthly life fully and to be obedient to His will.

Then later on He said to the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) Yes my brethren, the joy of God is ever so important in a believer’s life. Without it, we’re powerless to resist the wiles of the enemy.

All through the Bible there are passages which proclaim the importance of godly joy in our lives. Let’s check out a couple of them. Listen to Elihu as he reasons with Job, re God’s calling on men to repent.

‘He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto (restore to) man his righteousness.’ (Job 33:26) Joy in the Lord is ever so important my brethren.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he’s seeking preservation and blessing. He ends it thus: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) And isn’t that absolute truth? It surely is! For once the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, there will be joy in our souls.

Meanwhile, Isaiah, in his thanksgiving for God’s mercies, puts it this way. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout (with joy), thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6)

Yes Friends, that’s how a nation, a people behaves when the joy of the Lord is amongst them. And we’ll end with a few words from John, from his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4)

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (please look it up), but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’

Oh my fellow believers, that is indeed the gospel truth! And we’ll leave us this morning to each ponder our walk with Jesus, to see exactly how it is proceeding, and to strengthen it when and where necessary, with God’s help. Much LOVE!

…one can never fully appreciate the joy of walking with Jesus…until one really and truly walks with Jesus…