Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2020 2 Chronicles 7:15.

2 Chronicles 7:15.    ​Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.
 
Chuh! One more Sunday without physical corporate worship friends. But don’t worry, we’re drawing close to the day when the Lord’s sanctuaries will again be opened, and we’ll greet each other with hugs and kisses and handshakes and other physical greetings, as we sing and dance and enjoy physical fellowship together under one roof. (smile) As children of the Most High God Jehovah we must resonate with hope. And the restrictions are being slowly loosened, so it’s not like I’m totally talking out of my hat. 

Anyway, we’re still restricted from gathering physically to worship, but not through all the handy technological means we have today. So let’s get on with it nuh, let’s sing and dance and listen to the Word and gain confidence and enthusiasm and strength from it through our technological interaction, in our own personal spaces, adhering to the restrictions of physical distancing, but enjoying the social and spiritual closeness that we so badly need. And in these pandemic times, times of much anxiety and uncertainty, when our world is caught between a rock and a hard place with this Coronavirus that’s overwhelming us, we need a song of praise and worship that encourages and strengthens us and gives us hope for the future. 

And today we have one such song, most appropriately titled ‘God answers Prayer,’ sung by a young Jamaican lady who calls herself Da Flame. It’s a medium tempo soulful song, that details our many problems, but gives us hope, because we have someone who looks after us in our time of need. So in soulful harmony, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise and pleading to high heaven, drawing every emotion from deep down in our hurting and anxious hearts. ‘If you’re ever feeling down and like you have no where to go. If you’re feeling like an outcast as your problems overflow, just remember there is someone, and all it takes is for you to know, is that God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(Chorus: He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer) You may be broken and feel battered, but your strength will surely come, in the midst of all your heartache. Your battles are already won. Just remember in the hard times, don’t give up, don’t say you’re done, because God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer. Oh He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for us. So let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer.’ 

Oh yes friends, that’s an indisputable fact: our great and faithful, merciful and gracious, forgiving and ever-LOVING God answers each and every prayer we offer up to Him with a sincere heart. He might not give us what we want when we want it, but He does answer our requests, with either an outright no, because it’s not in His will, a wait, not yet, or a definite yes.

And the one good thing that this Covid-19 disease is doing is turning more people than ever to prayer, because we realize that man made answers are not being quickly forthcoming, and when the chips are finally down, when we have no where else to turn, many of us turn to God, as our last resort, our final hope. 

And nothing’s wrong with that, although He should be our first avenue of help. The problem though is when we finally turn to Him and He doesn’t respond as quickly as we like, we get annoyed and go back to blaspheming and bad talking Him. But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile) Today we’re talking about Him answering our prayers. And that He certainly does, though not necessarily in our time. Remember He says that His thoughts and ways and timing are higher than ours, so one of the things we have to do is learn to wait on Him. He might take a while, but I can assure you, He’s NEVER late. 

And if you don’t believe me that He answers prayer, let’s look at a couple of scriptures that reassure us of it. Remember when Cousin Sol dedicated the majestic temple in Israel? Well he asked the Lord for one basic thing; if His children faltered in their obedience, but then returned and prayed at the temple, His house: ‘Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.’ (2 Chr. 6:35) 

And what was the Lord’s reply? ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) And we see it happen all the way through the Good Book, where the Israelites turned away from God, then turned back, and He heard their prayer and forgave them. The same thing goes for us today my brethren. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ 

Yes friends, God answers prayer, but our hearts, our motives must be right. Now are our hearts and motives right, are we being truly repentant in these pandemic times, or are we just mouthing platitudes, and as soon as He heals our land, we’ll go back to our old, wicked ways?  I don’t know, but He will certainly check it out first. 

And Bruh David verified that the Lord answers prayer, when he declared: ‘In the day when I cried thou answeredst (answered) me, and strengthenedst (strengthened) me with strength in my soul.’ (Ps. 138:3) And Jesus faithfully promised the disciples: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Meanwhile, John says it thus: ‘And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

Ah mih people, our God does answer prayer, but there are indeed some requirements for us to meet. Much LOVE!

…answered prayer…calls for…sincere hearts…and true belief in Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 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.

And then it was Saturday…time for sleeping in late and all that good stuff! Chuh! Some of us just don’t have time for such luxuries nuh, we have to be up and about God’s business. (smile)  But our wonderful God rewards us in other ways, so we really can’t complain.

And talking about complaining, I believe that’s one of the serious problems in our society. We have been so spoiled by God’s goodness and mercy over the years, that now things have become somewhat rough, our pampered bodies and souls can’t handle it, and we end up complaining about small, petty things which makes us sound like spoiled brats.
 
The petty things that we complain about, 80 % of the world would gladly take, as opposed to the real serious problems they have. The technological and communications revolutions haven’t helped matters either, making us ever more in need for speed and dependent on them, so that when they fail, or break down, as man made things are wont to do, we get very testy and impatient.
 
Impatience is another one of the great flaws of our Western society, and we exemplify it even in our prayers to Almighty God. But God knows what we need and what we want, and gives it to us at the right time, if He sees fit.
 
But many of us turn away from God because of the foolish reasoning that we prayed, waited – possibly for a couple of hours or days – and didn’t receive what we prayed for, be it legitimate or fanciful, and then decide that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t truly answer prayer.
 
But Friends, I’m here to tell us that that’s just another one of the enemy’s cruel deceptions. Our God is alive and on His throne, in control of everything! And He does hear and answer prayer – sincere ones that is, those which come from a heart with pure and sincere motives.
 
And our Bit aptly demonstrates that, as Bruh David cries out 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.’  
 
Obviously the Lord had heard his prayer of distress sometime before and had helped him out of it. That only boosted Bruh David’s faith, as it should ours, when God faithfully answers our sincere prayers.
 
And once again we’ll proclaim that the greatest example of the need for prayer comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Yesterday we highlighted a scripture passage which showed His prayerfulness (Luke 6:12).
 
Today we’ll highlight another one. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)
 
And since that comes from God’s Word, my brethren, that means it’s gospel truth! So, as we also said yesterday, if Jesus felt the need for prayer, why should we, mere mortals, not feel it too eh? We’re just too full of foolish pride and stubborn, rebellious ego, thinking that we’re so great, when all we are is a collection of fallible flesh and bones, which eventually returns to the dust from which it was formed.
 
Anyway, let’s look at some more scriptures which highlight the importance of prayer. Listen to the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)
 
And the scholars say of that: ’15:8. The best that the wicked can offer God religiously is completely rejected.’ For good reason too!
 
Meanwhile, in Acts, after the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on ALL believers, and the Christian communal community was growing at a fast rate, the apostles decided that they had more important things to do than running around doing pantry duty. (smile)
 
‘It is not reason (desirable) that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, look (seek) ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.’ (Acts 6:2-4) And that’s when Stephen was chosen.
 
And then, as today’s last example, there’s Bruh Paul, who, in his usual zealous fervour, tells the Philippians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness, reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (His coming is imminent).
 
Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7)
 
Yes my people, there’s no greater service that we can perform than prayer…with some thanksgiving too!
 
So let’s take that wonderful advice of Bruh Paul’s to heart nuh, and thus reform and/or reinvigorate our prayer lives, and consequently the lives of all those around us. That’s the wisdom of God, my fellow believers! Much LOVE!
 
…when we pray…we communicate with our heavenly Father…the One who created us…and who controls our life strings…and without whom we can’t do anything substantial…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.     In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, it’s Thursday, the day before the big day, Friday, when we’ll be finally blessed with a couple days off from our labour! So let’s enjoy and celebrate this wonderful day with a shout of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father.
 
And all God’s people rose up with joy and delightedly proclaimed: ‘This is the day the Lord our great God has made. We SHALL rejoice and be glad in it! Amen!’ And so let it be my people.
 
Ah mih breddren, our God is something else yes. And this small testimony I’m about to offer here, just proves that His Word doesn’t lie.
 
James tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6)
 
Well Friends, I got up this morning and there are currently a few negative things happening in my life that I can’t understand why they are happening, for in the natural, everything should be hunky dory.
 
Well since I got up I’ve been talking to the Lord about them, asking for some wisdom and understanding. And lo and behold, just now, when I read yesterday’s Bit, as I usually do before writing today’s, I got the answer in a news flash.
 
Ah Friends, I couldn’t help but laugh as the answer just hit me from the words of the Bit. And I’m still laughing as I write this. And they say the Lord isn’t real, isn’t alive and kicking and moving in mysterious ways? Chuh!
 
Well I’m here to testify that they are oh so wrong. Because our God is indeed alive and kicking, and kicking real hard too, and He does answer prayer in all forms and fashions, as He sees fit!
 
And as I keep saying living for Jesus is not easy, but it certainly is interesting and exciting. I finally discovered that what’s happening is a test of my spiritual maturity. Yuh see, I have to be careful of what I write and/or say, because the Lord oftimes turns right back and tests me on those things.
 
So a word of warning Friends; be very careful in what you say, or ask for, or testify to, for it will no doubt boomerang right back on you. Ah Lord eh! I’m still laughing…
 
But let’s move on to our Bit, the challenging and encouraging words of Christ our Saviour: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Oh Friends, I know I said that yesterday was the last day for this Bit, but unfortunately, or rather fortunately (smile) there was so much stuff to say that I couldn’t get in all the scripture I wanted to. And remember, I don’t want to overburden us with too much stuff to ponder on at once. (smile)
 
And these are also important passages of scripture, so I just didn’t want to waste them, not bring them to your attention. So without further ado, let’s delve deeply and meditatively into them.
 
The first one comes from James, talking about patience in affliction. ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
 
Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near). Grudge (grumble) not one against the other, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take thy brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
 
Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:7-11)
 
Yes my people, our God is indeed compassionate and full of tender mercy to those who wait patiently and endure whatever comes against them in His name!
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars: 5:7-8. The coming of the Lord: Few doctrines concerning Jesus Christ are taught in James. His vicarious (deputed, substitutionary) death and resurrection are omitted, yet Christ’s return is cited to encourage patient endurance. Early and latter rain: Farmers in Palestine absolutely depended on two rainy seasons, late fall and mid-spring, for their crops.’
 
And we’ll end with another awesome passage of scripture on patience, this time from Peter, as he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. Listen up carefully and closely now my fellow believers.
 
‘For this is thankworthy (commendable), if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.
 
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of souls.’ (1 Pet.2:18-25)
 
Ah my fellow believers, if that doesn’t put a dart of sorrow, repentance and wanting to do better in our hearts, then I don’t know what will. Jesus suffered so much for us, that we ought to be willing to suffer a little to bring His Words, His story to the heathen, ungodly world in which we currently live.
 
Please, as true followers of the risen Christ, let’s attempt today to improve our walk of faith, of LOVE, enduring any suffering, affliction, trials and tribulations that might come our way, with the same stoic, God-granted assurance and confidence that He displayed. For that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…of all the necessary attributes for living a truly Christian life…patience might just be the most important and all encompassing…