Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Well my Scrip-Bit brethren, in these northern climes, it’s a chilly Monday morning out there! Yes, it’s winter, so what else do you expect eh? ‘Oh we tired with it!’ comes the sullen reply. ‘Chuh! We tired with the snow and the ice…and the cold…and all the other problems that winter bring!’ But that’s nothing new eh? It’s something you ought to be accustomed to by now… 

‘Foolishness!’ is the angry reply. ‘Who could ever get accustomed to that nonsense eh, much less like it? That’s why they call it the winter of our discontent! Every blooming time it comes around we discontented, so much so that we get sad and miserable and develop the winter blues, what they now call some big name…can’t even remember the blooming thing…Oh…Seasonal Affective Disorder! Yes, it happens every winter season, so how you could tell me about being accustomed and contented eh?’ 

And there is a point to be made there my people. When the dark, gloomy, often sunless, snowy and slippery days get into your blood, it’s hard to be enthused about the weather, especially if you have to be getting around on P2 (on foot). But as believers in Jesus Christ we have a somewhat different take on the situation (smile). 

We are encouraged to believe the best, even when we experience the worst. Now that’s not easy to do, or even comprehend, but with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, if we’re serious, we can overcome all odds. 

And for those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning, let’s apply some salve to our wounds nuh; let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, call upon the omnipotence and mercy of our heavenly Father to give us some succour down here on a turbulent and ungodly earth. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yuh see friends, our prayer has barely reached up to heaven when it’s quickly answered! Note the smiles on our faces now; the lifting up of our spirits, and the desire to get out there and work diligently and excellently for Jesus! That’s what we call the awesome power of prayer! With sincere heart, right motives and strong belief, any and everything is possible in Jesus’ realm! 

But the responsibility to call out for help, through prayer, remains solely in our hands. If we don’t ask in prayer, we won’t get. And that needs the power of belief, both to get us to pray, and also for us to expect whatever we’re praying for to happen. And Jesus says it quite plainly in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that TWO conditions are necessary there; asking for in prayer, and believing. If those two aren’t present, then all bets are off. As Jesus also said earlier on: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) What an interesting question my people! And yuh see how Jesus builds up to it, ever the logical philosopher! (smile) 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continued prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves no excuse for failure.’ 

Yes friends, we have no excuses if we don’t pray, or if our prayer requests fail. As James, in his two cents worth on the topic declares, (wrong again): ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (earthly pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that nuh my fellow believers. We either don’t ask, or ask for the wrong things, for the wrong purposes, and ‘instead of wrestling with God in prayer,’ we ‘are striving with one another.’ 

So today, let’s consider our lives nuh, both our earthly relationships as well as our prayer life. Let’s ponder on how we treat others and the things we ask for and the motives behind them. Then as always, let’s ask God for His help to do better. He will NEVER refuse such heartfelt pleas! Much LOVE!

…if the heart and the purpose are not right…then Lord will obviously say NO…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2019 Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13.   ​If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
 

Ah Friends, it’s still white and somewhat beautiful, but possibly even more dangerous, deceptive and slippery because it’s also deeper! Yeh, not a single snowplough nor sand truck has come by to work on my neighbourhood since the first snowfall on Friday, and it’s been snowing some everyday since! I wonder where the people whom we paid so much money a couple months ago to clean our drive way are eh? 

And I’m sure the crooked councilors on the City Council are soon going to write me raising my property taxes, citing the increased cost of snow removal, when they’re removing less and less snow every year! Chuh! And the worst part of it all is that I’d planned to resume driving today, and celebrating by driving to church, planning to boast about how I had the best shotgun rider, Jesus Christ riding shotgun with me! (smile) 

But the powers that be seem to have had other ideas. I don’t even know how deep the snow is in my driveway, and there aren’t even any tire tracks in the lane. Added to that, I’ve never driven this car in so much snow yet, because I only got it in the summer, so I don’t know exactly how it will react. 

And I definitely don’t want to go out there and screw up my shoulder fighting with the steering and whatever else might happen. I even tried to contact my pastor to find out what was happening but could not get him either. So I decided to err on the path of caution, and stay home. So having said all of that to say nothing, (smile) let’s have church! 

And today we’re going to be opening the celebrations with those wonderful words of John Newton that we all know and LOVE so much, ‘Amazing Grace.’ And as the GodTube website tells us: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology—it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced. Later in life, Newton became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who lead the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.’ 

Ah my people, our great God works in such wonderful and miraculous ways, that if He could save a die-hard heathen like Newton, He can save any of us. So let’s sing those awesome words with true heartfelt gratitude, giving all praise and thanks to a most merciful and gracious God. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih breddren, can you imagine those words being written by a drunken, profligate sailor involved in the slave trade eh? But the story goes that on March 21, 1748, Newton’s ship was being battered by a major storm and he was lashed to the helm to try and keep the ship on course. He was there from one o’clock till midnight. 

That’s plenty time to think when one’s life seems to be slipping away. And apparently it was during that time the Lord knocked loudly on the door of his heart, and he never forgot it, writing:  “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” 

How many of us has God delivered out of deep waters eh my people, and not necessarily deep waters literally, but figuratively? Oh people, I am one of those He delivered out of deep waters literally on Lake Ontario many years ago, and whenever I remember that traumatic experience I surely give Him thanks and praise. 

And, “Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, 1805: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise.” Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.” 

And neither should we, my believing brethren. It’s also been said that Newton, though he realized the folly of his life, still felt that he was beyond saving, even if the Good Book was true; that is until he read the reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’  

Now that’s a very good question my brethren! One we should truly ponder ourselves, like Newton apparently did. And while doing that, we should also consider these most appropriate verses from James. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yeh friends, God is the Creator of Everything, and Giver of ALL good things! He’s ONLY and ALWAYS GOOD! He ‘s immutable, DOESN’T change! And all those who have been redeemed are His firstfruits; the first step in His redemption plan for ALL creation! 

So let’s consider all of that today nuh, and hope and pray and ask Him to help us come up higher in our faith walk and our undying LOVE for Him! That’s all we can do as mere mortals. But the right motives of our hearts do make a big difference with our heavenly Father! Much LOVE!

…the GRACE of God…the most powerful MOVER and SHAKER in His universe… 

P.S. The quotes above come from the GodTube website and John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace @Christianity.com. 

P.P.S. And would you believe, just as I’m about to send out the Bit, I hear them cleaning my drive way! Steups! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

And so we come to Saturday – Caribana Saturday in Toronto…and again I’m up before I planned to because of the many aches and pains coursing through the ole bod. But I don’t think they are as bad as yesterday morning. And in any case, though they might slow us down some, we’re not going to let them stop us. Glory to Christ Jesus who strengthens us and allows us to do all things in His name! 

So some people are getting ready to go out and party, some are sleeping in, and some are working, like me here, asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to write about today. But before we get to that, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we have a full slate of them this week. 

The first one tells us: ‘Learn to let go.’ Now that is indeed some wise advice, because we often hold on to things and people we ought to let go, because their season in our lives is over. And holding on to stuff and people who’s best by date has expired, does us no good whatsoever, just causes more problems than we need. 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.’ Yeh friends, letting go brings a kind of exhilaration and relief to our spirits, as we say ‘Yes!’ and raise our clenched fists in victory. 

And then there is this: ‘Fall in LOVE with yourself before anything else.’ Now there is some truth to that statement, but we have to be very careful with it, especially in these selfish and narcissistic times. LOVE for ourselves should be one about self-worth and self esteem, in conjunction with Jesus command to LOVE others as ourselves. 

Now there’s no way we can LOVE anybody else if we don’t first LOVE ourselves. So please pay close attention to how you think about yourself. Do appreciate and value yourself, but don’t put yourself up on any high pedestal, and think you’re so much better than others, for you’ll eventually come tumbling down. 

And the next quote poses a very interesting question. ‘Ask yourself if what you’re doing today will get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?’ Now that’s a question a lot of us need to ask ourselves! So many of us are doing stuff we don’t like, and are spread very thinly amongst so many things that we can’t focus on the thing or things we truly want to focus on. 

And in these days of multitasking and people having to work at several jobs just to make ends meet, steadily focusing on, and getting ahead in the area you particularly desire is difficult. But you can do it, if you know what you want, and are ready to make the sacrifices involved, and above all, with God’s awesome help. Remember NOTHING is impossible to Him! 

And last quote gives us: ‘Three life rules: 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ And they are all quite true. We just have to put them in the context of living for Christ and what He said concerning those things. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s only when we venture forth, we step out in faith that things truly begin to happen for us. As Jesus continues: ‘For every one that asketh receiveth; and that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:8) And here Jesus was referring in particular to prayer, but in reality before we do anything, we ought to come to the Father in prayer about it. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

Now that’s certainly a very interesting statement…and it’s also true. Our wonderful God has given us ALL that we need to be successful down here on Planet Earth. We just need to exercise our authority over it all! And what better way to close than with the words of our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as he concluded His talk on the above subject. 

‘Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matt.7:9-11) 

You can’t beat Jesus’ logic there my people. If we, in our sinful nature, know how to give good things to our LOVED ones, then can you imagine the generosity of the God of LOVE and Giver of ALL good things? No! Our puny minds won’t allow us to. But if we have faith, and persevere in fervent prayer, we will get some idea of how generous He is. Much LOVE!

…asking…seeking…and knocking…are the only ways…to truly find out what’s happening…