Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2018 Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19.   If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the work week… And we’re getting a li’l bit earlier everyday with the Bit. (smile) Hope within the next few days we’ll be back to an early morning Bit. And when are we going to dance the Maypole eh people? Wonder if some of the young people even know what that is. 

It’s a celebration for the month of May. You have a tall decorated flagpole with long ribbon streamers attached at the top, and then everybody takes a ribbon and dances around it to form an intricate pattern all the way down the pole. I remember going to May fairs as a boy in High School, but usually thinking myself too macho to dance the maypole. That was something for girls. 

Now here is a li’l something from Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Texas. He tells us that ‘God is awesome. He doesn’t need us to be awesome. He needs us to be obedient.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? 

All our magnanimous and magnificent God really wants from us is obedience to His law. If we’d only practice greater obedience, we’d be surprised at how blessed we’d truly be. But we insist on choosing our own areas of obedience. However my brethren, our God wants total obedience from His people. Not some obedience here, and some obedience there, like a hodgepodge of obedience and disobedience. 

And friends, the Lord made His intentions clear a long time ago to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah in our Bit. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ That’s fairly simple and straightforward eh my fellow believers. 

And the corollary to that is the next verse: ‘But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:20) And it’s not like the Israelites, who were found to be disobedient several times did not suffer by the sword and all kinds of pestilence. 

I don’t know why we think that the Lord isn’t going to keep His word. He kept it with the Israelites and He’s going to keep it with us too, as our disobedience level is riding sky high. Can’t we see all the unusual things that are happening in our society? And even though we’re the most advanced civilization ever, we’re still flailing along in a mire of poverty, sickness, greed and poor relationships. 

A lot of our trouble stems from our disobedience. The Lord is not going to allow us to continue the way we’re currently going forever, so we need to smarten up as soon as possible, if we want to get out of the quicksand that we’re slowly drowning in. 

Now let’s look at some important scriptures that tell us about obedience. And we’ll begin at the beginning, with the words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19). 

Yeh friends, by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, sin flooded the world, likewise by the sacrificial death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, grace, salvation, and eternal life were provided by our Lord to overcome the bondage of sin. 

And more words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Philippian church, pertaining to Jesus. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:9) 

Oh my people, there’s no better example of obedience than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Though He was God Himself, once He took the form of man, He didn’t try to boost His ego or importance here on earth, but gave total obedience to His heavenly father. Even when He tried to get out of going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, He finally gave in and said, ‘not my will, but thine,’ acknowledging the Father’s supremacy. 

As Hebrews tells us: ‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb.5:8-10) Yeh people, Jesus learned obedience just like all of us do, through suffering, through adversity and trials. That’s the only way to learn it. And that’s why the Father elevated him to the highest position there is; the one to whom all knees will bow, and all voices will cry Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Now listen to this last scripture from Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct). Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.’’ (1 Pet.2:13-16) 

I can’t say anything more friends, except to lead us in our declaration of our Wednesday Wail, which tells the world our strong and obedient position in Christ. 

As one 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 we can’t even imagine how glorious that future will be, because our minds are too small and finite! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 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. 

So friends, like fall has finally fallen! (smile) Yes, it’s still dark out at 7 a.m, it’s somewhat chilly, only 13 degrees, and yesterday I finally saw a set of fallen dry leaves merrily dancing in my driveway! That alone indicates to me that the weather has changed, or is changing. 

Anyway, North Carolina is still feeling the wind and water effects of hurricane Maria with plenty shoreline flooding, as she makes her way northward and out to sea. Ah Lord eh friends, it certainly has been a devastating couple of months in so many places from so many forces! 

And so much disaster has befallen us in the south and east, that we have forgotten that out in the west, where the devastation first began, they are still daily battling wild fires. Please, let’s continue to pray for them and help in any way we can, as we try to recover and rebuild on this side of the continent. 

And my biggest prayer is that this set of calamitous circumstances will truly bring us close together, as we help each other. Also, that it will eventually lead to us realizing that God is our ONLY true help in this uncertain world, which will further lead us to wisely embracing His LOVING-kindness once more, as the Sovereign Ruler over our society. 

In other words, we will purge the evil from our midst and go back to trying to live righteous lives, under His merciful and forgiving umbrella. That’s the ONLY thing that makes sense in this topsy-turvy world my brethren!  

Right now we need the biggest LOVE Revolution our planet has ever seen if we’re to make any serious and sensible headway in our society. Just look at the number of wars, rumours of wars and bitter strife that’s taking place in our world, despite the overwhelming disasters in almost every part of the planet. 

One would think getting together to alleviate those disasters would be the prime target of all nations. Hn! But no, feuding, warmongering, greed, religious intolerance and lust for power still seem to be our major preoccupations! 

What a foolish people we are! And yet we boast about mankind being God’s greatest and wisest creation! Steups! What a joke! 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit, which tells us the basic thing we need to do in this life, if we’re to succeed and prosper. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Yeh my fellow believers, that’s the wise advice of our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and heavenly Advocate, the ONE who sacrificed His sinless life for us. So if we say that we believe in Him, then we ought to do what He says. 

And John tells us right up front: ‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4) 

Unfortunately my people, that means we have a whole lot of liars in our society since so many of us don’t keep Christ’s commandments, although we claim to be believers! But that’s another story for another day! (smile) 

Today we’re concerned with prayer and praying. And in Jesus’ most strenuous and difficult moments, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion, what was he doing? Praying to His heavenly Father. So Jesus knew the power of prayer and consistently practiced it. 

On that momentous night, He also uttered another serious warning on the subject. His inner circle of disciples were supposed to be watching and praying with Him: ‘And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:40-41) 

That’s oh so true friends, but not too many, or not enough of us consider those words today, and that’s a major reason why our society is so awash in evil and ungodliness. So please, let’s consider them more than we do right now nuh. It’s all for our benefit, not God’s!

And if we sincerely believe and trust in Jesus, then let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember there is power in the word, and speaking it only enhances that power. 

So in unison, emphatically and enthusiastically: ‘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!’

Glory be mih people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to be safe and not sorry…watch and pray…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Aye mih breddren, it’s a white winter’s morn in my neck of the woods this Holy Thursday of 2016. Yes, it’s beautiful to the eyes, but ever so dangerous to the body. A late winter, early spring storm dumped some of the white stuff on us; thankfully not as much as the East Coast and parts to the north of us. 

The problem though is it’s not straight snow but more a combination with freezing rain, which means there’s a high ice content making things very slippery and dangerous. So those of you who have to go out there, please make sure you are very careful because it doesn’t take much under those conditions for accidents to happen. 

Thankfully I don’t have to go out there today. And besides, the last two days have been rather busy, and what with the unusually late nights too, the ole fella needs a bit of a rest. He’s not as young as he was or as mobile and agile as he thinks he is. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a serious and sincere prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. We’re going to give ourselves to God, either for the first time, or if we’ve done so before, rededicate our lives to Him. 

So please pray with me: ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen.’  

Yeh friends, what better time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ than just before He sacrifices His life for us tomorrow on Good Friday! 

We all know it wasn’t an easy time for Him, how He went into the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening and with an anguished spirit, pleaded with the Father, that if it were at all possible, He would be spared the difficult and dehumanizing ordeal. (Matt.26:36-46) 

But it was not, and Jesus knew that, but it just shows that in His humanity He was as vulnerable and anxious as any man would be. 

However, finally accepting that His ordeal could not be put aside, He eventually said: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Ah mih people, that is how we have to react sometimes too. Even though we know that the going will be pretty rough and painful, if it’s the Lord’s will, we just have to grin and bear it. Remember too, that He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always help us through whatever painful and sorrowful situations we go through. 

Those are the thoughts of faith we must use to get us through the rough times. For as our Bit declares: ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, unfortunately, living for Jesus is a two way street. It’s not easy, but the rewards do outweigh the pain and heartache. And as we promised yesterday, here is the rather appropriate passage from 2 Corinthians. 

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor.4:17-18) 

Yeh friends, we can’t afford to merely look at and concentrate on the things that are happening to us in this life, because they are temporary, only for a short while, but through our eyes of faith must keep focused on the things of heaven which we cannot see, but which are so much more valuable and worthwhile than the destructible things of the world. 

My brethren, it’s a serious decision we have to make to follow Christ. We cannot have a wishy-washy, half-baked, fence-sitting attitude, if we really want to be a true Christian. It’s true that Christ died that we may have an abundant life, but he also said that it would be filled with persecution, just because we believed on Him. 

However, He also said that we should not be afraid, because he had already conquered the world, and there was nothing the world could do to us. And we’ll finish with another appropriate scripture passage for this Holy Thursday. 

This one from Hebrews: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

And what was that joy, you ask? ‘Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people, that’s how the Father rewarded Jesus for sacrificing His sinless life for us. Will He not amply reward us too if we are obedient to His will? Of  course! 

So please let’s go into Good Friday with a sense of suffering for and with Christ, so that when He is exalted, we also will be exalted with Him. There’s no better wisdom than that! Much LOVE!

…any ‘sufferation’ that comes from doing God’s will…will be amply rewarded….in God’s way…and in God’s time…that’s a proven fact… 

P.S. It’s late and long, but oh so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14      I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Well here it is again Friends, the first and most important day of the new week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, or day of rest, fellowship and family togetherness! And it’s the most important day because it sets the tone and tenor for the remainder of the week. How you set up and use your Sundays, usually determines how your Monday to Saturday will go. That means we have to pay particular attention to what we do on Sunday, if we want to have a focused, persevering, prosperous and godly week.

 
So let’s begin by going out to church today nuh, joining in worship and praise, adoration, devotion, gratitude and thanksgiving! That will warm the cockles of God’s heart, as well as open up our souls and spirits to His awesome wonder and LOVING-kindness! It’s what we call, in today’s parlance, a win – win situation.
 
And talking of win- win situations, the best one ever is when Jesus gave His life for us, in atonement for our sins. Some might consider us the big winner in that relationship, but Jesus also won because for His obedience, He was exalted by the Father with a name above all others, as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the One to whom all knees will eventually bow, and all tongues confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of the Father. (Phil.2:9-11)
 
That brings us to our Bit, the same as the last couple of days:  ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a most encouraging statement my people! We all know the LOVE and care that a shepherd shows for His flock, so if Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, claims to be our shepherd, how can we brook any argument about it eh? We’d be worse than foolish to deny Him that right, and ourselves, His tender LOVING care!
 
Unfortunately though, a lot of us unwisely do just that, and if we don’t wake up soon and realize our terrible mistake, we will eventually face death, eternal damnation and everlasting separation from our heavenly Father. And let me tell you my brethren, that is the worse fate a human being can ever suffer!
 
Now listen to Jesus as He continues His discourse on the topic, after our Bit. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (Matt.10:15-16)
 
Oh what a glorious day that was Friends, when Jesus united His two folds, the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) which includes you and I! His sacrificial, substitutionary death on our behalf fulfilled that promise! And again I ask, why would I, being of sound mind and reason, turn away from Jesus wonderful invitation to come to Him and lay down my heavy burdens, and refuse to be brought under His easy yoke, to bear His light burden? (Matt.11:28 -30)
 
In light of all that we’ve said and know for a fact, that certainly doesn’t make sense to me. And I just adore these next verses where Jesus expounds on His authority, obedience and closeness to the Father. ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (Matt.10:17-18)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! Yuh see my fellow believers, that close and beautiful relationship that Jesus has with the Father, is the same kind that we can have with Jesus, and by extension, with the Father too. Wow! So why ‘dis’ Jesus eh, and refuse His LOVING entreaties? That’s nothing but a fool’s wisdom!
 
Now hear this explanation from the scholars, re those last two verses: ’10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection. He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it up again, once more asserting His deity.’
 
So all those people who believe that Jesus was just a push over for the faithless Jews and cruel, arrogant Romans who crucified Him are totally wrong! In fact, that was the singular purpose for which He came to earth in human form: to die so that we might live!
 
As He said to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him. ‘Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?’ (Matt.26:53-54)
 
If he hadn’t fulfilled the Father’s plan, then we’d still be lost and gone astray, facing death and eternal separation from our Creator. And though it hurts, breaks my heart, to know the pain He bore on our behalf, I’m glad that He was true to His purpose. Now if only we, His followers could be true to ours… what a wonderful world this would be!
 
And do we ever need a whole lot of improvement in our troubled and diseased world my brethren! That’s the task that Jesus has set before us – live a life that causes the unbeliever to turn to Him in repentance and conviction, so that they can receive His free offer of salvation and eternal life.
 
So Friends, are we going to get real serious and sincere about that task this new year and do our best to further Jesus’ LOVE Revolution?  I certainly hope so, because if we don’t, our beautiful world will just keep falling further and further into the depths of hell, until there’s no turning back. And what will that do to our children and their children eh? I leave that for each of us to ponder on, then hopefully do the right thing to correct the woeful situation in which our world is floundering right now.
 
Remember Friends, Jesus is depending on us to help alleviate the sad state of confusion and evil that’s currently reigning. Please, I implore us, to take up the gauntlet and fight the good fight to the death. That’s what a good and true soldier in Christ’s army is expected to do. Much LOVE!
 
…our bounden duty here on earth…is to live a life worthy of Jesus…so that others may see it…and come to faith in Him…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2014 Proverbs 16:7

Proverbs 16:7. When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

 Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday morning and we’re on the move again. But here is something from Christian D. Larson, (1874-1954) the American New Thought leader, teacher and author, to buoy and boost us as we move along the fast track of life. It’s called ‘The Optimist’s Creed.’

Some of you might have heard of it, or even know it. And would you believe that I have it cut out and stuck up on a filing cabinet right next to my desk, but I can’t tell when last I looked at it. The paper is old and yellow now, so I must have had it up there for some time.
 
I believe I might have shared it with you a long time ago, but this morning the Lord led me to it. I guess He believes we need to reorient and readjust our lives in accordance with it. (smile)
 
It simply says: ‘Promise Yourself – To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
 
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.’
 
Oh my people, those might seem like trite, clichéd comments, but believe me, as a group, they are indeed the recipe for a good life on this evil earth! The fact is that most of us know some or even all of those wise advisements, but unfortunately we don’t implement them consistently.
 
And that’s what denotes a sensible life; consistency in positive outlook and behaviour. And with the Good Book to help us affirm those things, we should be able to live a life that’s not only pleasant, but even more importantly, pleasing to Almighty God! And living a life that pleases God is one of our duties, a major responsibility on this pilgrim’s journey on which we are embarked.
 
As Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in our Bit. ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ Indisputable truth that my brethren!
 
And what we’re going to concentrate on today is how the Son of man, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ put our Bit into action during His earthly incarnation, how He always tried to please His heavenly Father. And if He, a significant part of the Godhead, put so much emphasis on it, why shouldn’t we, mere mortals and minions of Jehovah God do likewise eh?
 
And we’ll begin with this telling verse from John 8: ‘And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.’ (John 8:29)
 
Ah mih people, Jesus could not have been any simpler and straightforward than that! And if we claim to be His followers, then we too, ought always to try and do the things which please the Father.
 
Then in John 4, around the well of Jacob, when He teaches the Samaritans that God is a Spirit and the disciples wondered at his saying, ‘I have meat (food) to eat that ye know not of…. Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (John 4:32, 34) 
 
Meanwhile in John 5, where Jesus talks about the Son’s relationship to the Father, He humbly declares: ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.’ (John 5:30)
 
Then, when expounding on being ‘the bread of life,’ Jesus again reiterates His submission to the Father. ‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.’ (John 6:38)
 
And the scholars note this comment. ‘6:38. I came down from heaven is another indication of Jesus’ deity (cf.3:13).’
 
Ah my fellow believers when coming to obedience, there was definitely none like Jesus! Listen to these most memorable and heartfelt words while undergoing His soulful torment in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before His crucifixion.
 
‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39)
 
And later on the Good Book says: ‘He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42)
 
Yes Friends, Jesus had his hurting moments just like all of us do, but He remained steadfast to do the Father’s will, even though He knew how painful and awful it would be. He put His desires, subordinated them to those of the Father, and that’s what we ought also to do.
 
Obviously we don’t have the same constitution that Jesus had, but our God, our Creator, knows that and understands that we will make mistakes and be disobedient just from the very nature of our sinful being.
 
However, He does expect us to make a sincere effort, to diligently try to do His will, so that at the end of our earthly sojourn, we can say like Jesus did: ‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’ (John 17:4)
 
And in the final installment of earth’s greatest drama: ‘When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar (sour wine), he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (His spirit).’ (John 19:30)
 
Oh my people, there’s nothing left to say. Let’s just go out and do like Jesus did nuh; live a life that’s pleasing to God. It’s our duty as followers of Christ, as well as simple common sense and heavenly wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…let us lay aside every weight…and the sin which doth so easily beset us…and let us run…with patience…the race that is set before us… (Heb.12:1)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2014 Psalm 4:1

Psalm 4:1.   Hear me when I call , O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.
 
Oh my Friends, it’s Sunday; the Sabbath Day, that blessed day of the Lord, when He rested from all His workweek labour! Oh Glory be! Let’s try and follow His example and do the same today nuh, as much as we can, or allowed to do in this 24/7 society.
 
And that includes fellowshipping with other believers at His sanctuary, where we can increase our faith, hope and trust in Almighty God through communal praise and worship. Yes my people, gathering together to magnify our mighty and magnanimous God is filled with all sorts of rewards.
 
And talking about rewards, here is a poem from that new to me, but old in actual age Devotional – The One Year Book of Bible Promises. The poem is titled ‘Enormous Rewards’ and says: ‘O dear God  Thank you for teaching me  The enormous rewards of walking obediently with You: There is joy without guilt  Freedom without fear  Satisfaction without sordidness  Purpose without confusion Friendship without compromise  Forgiveness without penance  Fulfilment without disappointment.’
 
And the scripture reading that comes with it is: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;’ (Eph.5:20) Not a bad idea at all my people, in fact a rather wise and advisable one for ALL believers, from the many that Bruh Paul declared.  
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit, where Bruh David is calling out for help through prayer, to the God of his fathers. ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’
 
Ah mih breddren, that is indeed a most worthy plea, but are our hearts in sync with God’s Word? That’s the big question? As our poem above talks about, are we walking obediently with Him? Hopefully the answer is a vigorous and truthful ‘Yes!’
 
And Bruh David continues thus with his evening prayer of trust in God: ‘O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye LOVE vanity (worthlessness), and seek after leasing (falsehood)?  Selah.
 
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call upon him. Stand in awe (tremble, be agitated), and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.  Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.’ (Ps.4:2-5)
 
Oh Friends, we couldn’t get any better advice than that!  Put your trust in God and talk to Him in prayer!
 
And Jesus is our poster boy, our most worthy example of that. Check out the night before His crucifixion, when He went up to the Garden of Gethsemane, and said to the disciples ‘Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there) And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful (grieved) and very heavy (deeply distressed).
 
Then said he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry (stay) ye here and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
 
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is week.
 
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:36-44)
 
Oh Friends, what more do we need to make us believe in the necessity for prayer eh? There we have the Son of God, in His passion, beseeching His heavenly Father for mercy and help to endure His upcoming tribulations. Note too though, that regardless of all His pleas, one thing remained constant; He always acknowledged, it was the Father’s will that would be done.
 
And our prayers ought always to have that same acknowledgement my people. Regardless of what we desire, we must always be prepared to do the Lord’s bidding, to endure His will, because His will is paramount over everything. If Jesus recognized that, then as His followers, we should be wise enough to do so too.  
 
Now let’s look at one more example of the power of prayer: this when Herod kills James and imprisons Peter, having him personally watched by a squad of four soldiers, intending to put him on trial after the Passover. The Good Book relates: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’  (Just as Bruh Paul advises in 1 Thess.17)
 
‘And when Herod would have brought (was about to bring) him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers (guards) before the door kept the prison. And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and he smote Peter on the side, and raise him up saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
 
And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
 
When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
 
And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:5-11)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the awesome power of sincere prayer! Please let it reassure and encourage us in all our worldly dealings. We do have an omnipotent and merciful God to call upon in times of need. Let’s make full use of that wonderful option, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…prayer is our number one source of communication with our Creator…

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