Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2019 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

Thessalonians 3:10.    ​For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
 

 

Okay friends, up and out! It’s time to get busy with Jesus’ work this Monday morning. You know there is no time for lollygagging, dawdling and wasting time, when there’s important and urgent work to be done for the kingdom. Yeh, I know some of us wish there was no work at all, (smile) but how would we live if nobody, or only a few people worked eh? And as Christians, believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to work, work with our hands, heads, bodies and hearts. So even if we’re not up to scratch this morning, let’s put forth the effort nuh.

Remember, it’s all for Jesus. And we’re here to help you by declaring with you, our antidote for whatever ails you, this Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So altogether now, with true sincerity and whatever enthusiasm you can all up.

‘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!’ Yes people, I know It’s working already! God is answering our prayer through the power of His Holy Spirit and a new sense of enthusiasm and energy are filling our bodies and souls, making us want to go out and do Jesus’ work. Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

And today we’re going to take a biblical look at what we term the work ethic. Now that term is fading fast away from our society, if it hasn’t already faded away completely. Unfortunately, work is not something we take pride in any longer, for even the supposed professionals nowadays do shoddy jobs and try to get away with it. And many of our young people don’t even want to work, but they do want to live high on the hog. If we’re not careful, we might just have to do like Bruh Paul advised the Thessalonians. When he lived amongst them, he laboured, worked hard at his own tent making job because he didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. Hn! These days, very few of us think like that. 

‘Not  because we have not power (authority), but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.’ (2 Thess.3:9-12)

That’s not difficult to understand is it? As the scholars explain: 3:10-12. Paul expounds his simple and straightforward work ethic; If a person will not work, he should not eat! The Thessalonians’ diversion encouraged their meddlesome ways, demonstrating that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” 

And that’s a sure fact! And a lot of people wouldn’t be eating if we ever brought in that system of ‘no work, no eat.’ It certainly seems that the work ethic was an important aspect of Bruh Paul’s ministering, because he also mentioned it to the Ephesian elders when he was about to leave them, as well as in his epistle to them later on.

Listen to him on the first occasion. ‘I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto (provided for) my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.’ (Acts 20:33-36)

Now the scholars offer an interesting statement on that verse. ‘20:35. Here alone is a quotation from Christ that is not recorded in the Gospels.’ I can’t make any definitive comment on that, but I always thought, He had said it somewhere in the Gospels. Anyway, as they say, the more you live, the more you learn. (smile) 

Now let’s end with Bruh Paul’s warning, re the work ethic, in the epistle to the Ephesians. In expounding on the new life in Christ, he warns: ‘Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.’ (Eph.4:28)

And please note that Bruh Paul’s main reason for that, seems to be more that the ole thief (smile) could have sufficient to give to the needy, more than have for his own purposes. Does that resonate with any of us? Hope it does. Now let’s spend some of our day contemplating the state of the work ethic in our society, and with God’s help, how we can improve it. Much LOVE!

…sincere work…never kill anybody yet… (smile)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2019 Proverbs 16:32.

Proverbs 16:32.   ​He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

Yeah, it’s Friday! And though the sun is struggling to get out from under the cloud cover, there is joy in the land, simply because it’s Friday and the workweek is ending! Thus, there are many ‘Praise the Lord’s!’ both sincere and insincere, (smile) ringing out from all parts of the world. And there’s none louder than that of the ordinary workingman, who never shies away from expressing his true feelings. 

And today, he shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! What a week it’s been! I ate and drank and partied so much this past Thanksgiving weekend, that I was truly sick come Tuesday and couldn’t go to the slave master’s work. Obviously he tried to give me a hard time when I showed up on Wednesday, but I just ignored him, because I have my sick time rights and this one was certainly legitimate. He feels that nobody should ever book off sick, because he loses money when they do. 

But when he books off sick is okay though, because he’s the boss… Chuh! Just forget the li’l greedy man yes! And yuh better believe this weekend is going to be strictly rest! I like mih food and drinks, but not to the extent that I want them to get me sick. I surely hope I learn mih lesson this time yes. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see what happen when we overdo it? Unwanted consequences usually come back to haunt us. As Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow; more than you sow, and later than you sow.’ And that’s the gospel truth! It holds in all situations in life! So let’s turn now to our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as verbose and in your face as the workingman’s song, but does do the trick for us believers. 

All together in true sincerity now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes, we do need to be careful how we operate, because the enemy, like the roaring, toothless lion that he is, is always lurking around seeking ways to get into our lives and create havoc. And I have a very good testimony on that point to share. This morning as I was getting ready to write the Bit, my trusty desktop computer began playing the fool. It just would not access the Internet after booting up. 

And as the Lord would have it, I opened the Good Book and began flipping pages and just happened to stop in Proverbs 16…no I don’t think that just happened nuh, because the Word that I read plainly said: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’  

That was certainly more than mere coincidence, because every time I turned my computer off and on, and got no progress, I could feel the anger rising up in me and I wanted to give it a few good thumps. But with that scripture staring me straight in the face, and knowing that the Lord, or the enemy was testing my resolve, I managed to not thump it, and it did behave properly after the fifth or sixth time of turning it on and off. 

I believe the Lord saved me though, because I’m pretty sure that I would have thumped it if I had had to go through the annoying rigmarole one more time. (smile) So I passed the test…but just barely. And that’s the way this earthly life is my faithful brethren. Life just likes to test us, to muddy our waters and see how we react. 

Sometimes it’s the Lord, other times it’s the enemy. But whoever or whatever causes us to find ourselves between a rock and hard place, we need to be able to bring up scripture written indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, to help us handle them in a godly and sensible manner. And today we just going to check out a few of those scriptures that we need to have as our bedrock, our fortification against unnecessary anger. 

Hear Cousin Sol earlier on: ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov.14:29) And that’s certainly no lie, as many of us have found out over the years. And just recently we featured these immortal verses from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘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.4:31-32) Words of eternal wisdom my brethren! 

Meanwhile James adds his two-cents worth thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And if you’re a true believer, you ought to know that. But listen to the scholars’ explanation anyway. 

‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ I hope we all hear that friends: anger distracts us from listening to God, and when we don’t listen to God, we go astray and end up suffering severe consequences. 

And here are some final words on the subject from Cousin Sol once again. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Awright mih people, there’s the ammunition to fight the battle against anger, let’s go out and put it to good use now nuh! It’s Jesus’ desire for all His followers. Much LOVE!

…be ye angry…and sin not…let not the sun…go down upon your wrath… (Eph.4:26)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2019 Ephesians 4:27.

Ephesians 4:27.   ​Neither give place (opportunity) to the devil.
 

‘And it looks like inclement weather today. Don’t know what kind just yet, but it sure looks like inclement weather today!’ Ah friends, what else is new eh? We’ve been having inclement weather for the last how long, so a li’l more today isn’t going to make much difference. (smile) It does look cloudy and wet outside, let’s hope is rain and not the other terrible stuff that’s on the way. 

But whatever it is, we going to handle it just fine, because we have the Great I AM living in us, and also walking beside us, so there’s no need to fear, just be careful! And all God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And that’s for sure friends, for without God’s unequivocal LOVE, we’d be like lost sheep at the enemy’s mercy. 

And since it’s Friday, you know the workingman is just dying to sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend…the weekend is finally here! And Valentine’s’ day weekend to boot. Didn’t get much time to celebrate with mih sugar yesterday, so I’m going to make up for it come the weekend! 

Mama Yo! Got to take her out and wine and dine her! Show her how much I LOVES her! Let her know in no uncertain terms that she’s my one and only! That she is the main reason I put up with all the nonsense in the slave driver’s work! Cause I’d be nothing without her! So forget all the housework this weekend mih sugar! This is we time to party, to shine like a bright shining star! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui! Don’t know how I’d manage otherwise nuh!’ 

That goes for all of us yes my brethren! Don’t know how any of us would manage without God and the weekends giving us a chance to rest from our labour. And though the workingman’s sentiments might be well intentioned, his actions do step over the line some. They surely are not in sync with Jesus’ behaviour pattern for His followers. Christians need to be somewhat more focused than the workingman’s song allows. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, which shows more circumspection in our behaviour and focus. In true sincerity now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Sorry mih people, but that’s just how Jesus set up His business. He wants His people to be somewhat restrained in their effervescence and not display leggo beast behaviour, since that gives the enemy opportunity to infiltrate and destroy our eternal souls. 

That’s why Bruh Paul instructed the Ephesians thus: ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts (renounce your pre-conversion life). 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 (bring your life into line with God’s viewpoint). 

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another (members of the same Christian body), Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.4:22-27) 

Yuh see friends, once we accept Jesus we have to adjust, to change our behaviour from that of the sinful world around us, cause we’re now a part of Jesus’ army, and any successful army needs to have discipline and good behaviour. That’s why Bruh Paul went to so much length to give us some practical tips for kingdom living here on earth. The most important being don’t give the devil any opportunity, any chance to gain a foothold in our souls, because you know his sole aim is to just turn our lives topsy turvy, so that we have no strength, no joy and peace in Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour. 

And Bruh Paul continues with his admonition: ‘Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the things which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby we 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.4:28-32) 

Oh my fellow believers that stuff is not too hard to do. We will not always be perfect, but if we put our hearts and minds to it, we can definitely behave like Bruh Paul advocates most of the time! It should be a no-brainer once we claim to receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, otherwise we’re just a bunch of selfish, greedy, hypocrites like the Pharisees and them were! 

So this Friday morning in February 2019, let’s hold up this passage of scripture, with those very practical points and decide that we’re going to improve our daily walk with Christ by trying to adhere to them more than we’re currently doing. That’s why the world has very little use for us; we talk one thing then practice something else. So for Jesus’ sake friends, let’s wake up and try and do better nuh, with God’s help obviously! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be a true believer…if the world’s pleasures still hold you captive…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2019 Revelation 3:20.

Revelation 3:20.   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.
 

Aye friends, greetings and salutations this wintry Tuesday morn from my house to yours! Hope all is well with you and yours, and as far as I know, it is well with mine. (smile) Yuh know they say no news is good news. Anyway, let’s begin with two powerful acclamations to set the tone for our day. And the first is the most powerful: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Yes my brethren, that certainly accentuates and reminds us of the innate power that lies within us as believers in Jesus Christ! 

And the second is like unto the first (smile): ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Mama Mia! What a way to begin our day! Acknowledging that Christ’s mighty power is working in us, and that our attitude will be one of joy and gladness ought to raise our level of faith and make the devil cringe and run away and hide from these awesome believers in the King of All Kings! 

And to go with all of that my people, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that completes the stage setting for the day. It is titled: ‘Make Yourself at Home.’ Please pray with me: ‘With extreme joy, Lord I offer my heart as Your home. I have purposely left it unfurnished Without lavish décor: No plush carpeting No velvet drapes Not even an original oil Or an engraved silver service. Examine it first for cleanliness – Every room Every closet Then furnish it according to Your own magnificent taste. The door is wide open – Don’t even bother to ring the bell.’ 

Ah friends, if only each of our hearts was indeed open to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ like that eh! Our hearts would be so beautifully furnished in Christ’s inimitable (cannot be imitated) manner, with plush, expensive and adorable furniture like mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace and above all unconditional LOVE! Wow! What beautiful Christians we’d be! The world would be shocked and in awe and run to embrace Him as we did! 

Steups! But unfortunately too many of us supposed believers keep God out of our living rooms, in secluded corners of our hearts and only trundle Him out on Sunday mornings when we go to church and behave ever so hypocritically. That’s why the heathen doesn’t take us seriously. We’re like Jesus called the Pharisees, ‘white washed tombs;’ clean and pretty outside, but filthy and evil inside. 

 That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible Promise for our poem. Hear these seminal, seed-bearing, immortal words of our Lord and Saviour to the church at Laodicea, re their lukewarm, not good enough behaviour. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ 

Oh friends, those words also pertain to us today in this evil and ungodly world in which we currently live! Jesus is knocking, like a door-to-door salesman, on every heart that’s available. But it’s just like in real life, where many of us don’t believe in, and don’t like to be bothered by itinerant salespeople at our doors, and don’t answer them, or are rude when you open and see who it is. 

I can tell you about that because in my early days in Canada I was a door-to-door salesman promoting encyclopedias – just for a few days though, couldn’t handle the cold and the rejection. (smile) And sometimes when the white homeowner opened the door and saw a black body there trying to sell them something, you could see the look of displeasure and disgust that quickly passed across their face before they say a cold and barely mannerly ‘not interested today.’ 

That’s how a lot of us are reacting to Jesus’ knock on the doors of our hearts my fellow believers. Please remember that we’re Jesus’ property, we’ve been bought and paid for with His holy, sinless blood. As Bruh Paul told the Ephesians elders: ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ (Acts 20:28) 

That means we are no longer our own, but Christ’s, and our hearts, minds, bodies and souls ought to be totally open to His knocking at any time, and be amenable to whatever furnishings He chooses to place therein! This brings to mind those endearing words of Cousin Sol in his Song: ‘I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of mybeloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my LOVE, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one): for my head is filled (covered) with dew, and my locks (hair) with the drops of the night.’ (Song 5:2) 

Yes friends, that’s our Lord and Saviour, our LOVE, who comes and knocks at the doors of our hearts. So please, when He knocks today – and He knocks EVERYDAY – don’t foolishly turn Him away, but gladly and joyfully open up your heart wide and let Him enter there in and sup with you. It will be the best and wisest thing you’ve ever done! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (got it right!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting this ungodly and evil world know who and whose we truly are! In unison, loudly and unashamedly and with a strong sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

The next thing is for us to go out and sincerely share that extraordinary friendship and LOVE of Jesus with others who don’t know or truly appreciate Him. That’s our bounden duty as believers! Much LOVE!

…when there’s a knock on your door…open it with a bright, inviting smile…for it might just be Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

‘Shalom friends, Shalom! Peace! Everlasting Peace! May the peace of God, that peace that passes all human understanding, which is instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, be unto you and yours this somewhat cloudy Saturday morning!’ 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ For there is nothing that’s so badly needed right now in our world, than peace, the peace of Almighty God! And though it’s cloudy, the sun is valiantly pushing through, just like our efforts in Jesus Christ to transform this evil world, to have His LOVE Revolution conquer it! Have faith my brethren. If we persevere in Jesus’ name, it will happen. 

Now let’s look at some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.’ Now that’s simply logical. If you look at things differently, then in the majority of cases, they will appear differently to you. I guess it’s all about our perspective. 

And the second one tells us: ‘You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.’ And isn’t that the glorious truth! My people, wherever we are, is where we have decided to be, at least for the time being, otherwise we’d be somewhere else. 

That’s unless we’re living for Jesus, and He has us in a particular position or situation right now that we don’t like, and as far as we’re concerned, He is moving us too slowly from glory to glory. But even then, we can always change it. It might not work out for the best under your terms, but it’s always changeable. 

Now this quote is simple but ever so important in a believer’s life. ‘Spread LOVE wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.’ Yeh friends, that’s what Jesus has called us to do, ‘SPREAD LOVE!’ 

His kind of LOVE; the kind that’s sincere and true and really caring and compassionate, not the empty, insincere, deceitful words that the world utters. That means whoever we interact with, we must leave them with a li’l bit of Jesus, so that their souls and spirits can be lifted through His awesome power. 

That leads us to this last quote: ‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.’ That’s also very true my people! We might not be able to always control our situations, but we always have the power to control our attitudes towards them. 

What did Jesus say about such situations? ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance friends! Our Lord and Saviour has already overcome the world, so we should not allow our circumstances to drag us down and keep us down for too long. Through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us, we can have peace in even the most unpleasant and unpalatable situations. 

Bruh Paul told Timothy in no uncertain terms: ‘Persecutions. Afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:11-12) 

And that’s indisputable truth! Once we stand up and proclaim the name of Jesus, the enemy WILL come against us. But as the Good Book says, he will come against us one way, but flee seven ways! Glory to God! 

Now let’s end up with some significant scriptures on peace. Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, re Christ: ‘For he (he himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph.2:13) Yeh people, by His death and resurrection Christ has broken down all barriers between Jews and Gentiles. We are all one body, one church under His name now. 

Meanwhile to the Colossians, Bruh Paul advised: ‘ And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.’ (Col.3:14-15) Oh friends, LOVE is the crowning grace of a believer, and right behind it is peace! 

And to the Philippians, Bruh Paul wrote: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard, sustain) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:6-7) 

Now isn’t that wonderful! Though we don’t understand God’s peace, we certainly have it available to us. So let’s use it nuh mih breddren, for it’s wisdom personified. Much LOVE!

…walking with Christ…brings tranquility of mind…frees us from fear and worry…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 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. 

Behold friends, it’s another glorious Tuesday morning in my area! And as the old people would remark ‘heat for so!’ (smile) 

Don’t know when they’re going to end. But like all things, this current beautiful summer weather will eventually morph into the cold and gloomy weather of fall and then winter. 

It’s only a matter of time. So we had better enjoy it while it lasts. That’s why we can all shout, ‘this is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Oh my people, I know that’s difficult for many of us to say and truly mean because we’re undergoing enormous stress and problems, but we just have to suck it up, raise our level of faith and carry on. 

Even me, right now, I’m having some painful hip problems, and it’s indeed a pain in the rear end, both literally and figuratively, (smile) I can’t walk properly, or sleep properly, or do any kind of physical movement without some sudden, unexpected pain in some area. 

Just coming down here to my basement office to write the Bit was a source of annoying pain. But I just have to do whatever it takes to keep on doing the Lord’s work. And from past experience, I know that He will enable me to do it, if I hang in there. 

That’s what our faith is all about friends! Let’s not forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy in our past. Remembering what He has done in the past for us, ought to make us stronger and help us to stick with His word, to keep believing and keep praying. 

And talking about praying, here is something I’ve shared before from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, but it’s one of those inspiring prayers that we need to share over and over. It’s titled ‘A Prayer For Confidence.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what sincere words of reassurance! And I do hope that you feel the surging confidence, the ultimate and enormous power of our omnipotent and merciful God flowing through you right now! I do! 

It’s that spiritual power inspired by prayer and praise, worship and thanks that gets us moving despite all the negative aspects of our lives. We can’t give up friends, especially in these rough and devastating times. As I keep saying, right now we need prayer and faith more than ever, for our world is definitely in a dangerous tailspin. 

And there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to invoke our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Remember that was Jesus’ advice to the throng that followed Him. And as faithful believers, we ought to take his advice seriously and do whatever He commands. 

So, please, I urge us, implore us, to keep on praying, to not give up, to not faint, even though the future seems dark and dreary because it’s often darkest just before the dawn, and with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our side, anything can happen at any time. 

Now let’s look at a magnificent verse of scripture which totally shows us the importance of prayer. They are the awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains the putting on of God’s armour. 

At the end, he specifies: ‘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 offer this explanation of that verse. ‘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 an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that shows us how important and indispensable prayer is in our lives. Now, having read and inwardly digested all that, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In unison now: I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Glory to God my faithful brethren! Now let’s go out and share the LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our Saviour, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the believer’s lifeline…his umbilical cord to God…

 

 

 

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