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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline!

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2015 Mark 6:34‏‏

Mark 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

And then it was Thursday! Thankful Thursday! Wow! Is it really Thursday already? That means a week of my vacation on God’s Little Acre has come and gone by… so quickly too. And I haven’t really done anything yet! Chuh! But I’m not going to complain because that’s obviously the Lord’s plan, and I’m trying my best to trust and wait on His timing.

So Instead I’ll say a simple ‘Thank You Lord for giving me Your breath of life to see another wonderful day in this wonderful garden of nature called Tobago! Thank You for helping me to get better with each passing day. I LOVE You and praise and glorify Your Holy Name. Amen.’

Yeh Friends, the best we can do is send up sincere prayers of thanks and gratitude to our heavenly Father, for complaining and grousing doesn’t net us any benefits and blessings.

And talking about prayer, here is a beautiful quote from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. He tells us that ‘A simple grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! The Lord’s not interested in our long repetitive, involved prayers, but the simple, genuine and heartfelt words that we send up to Him. That’s when we touch His heart and cause blessings, mercies, etc. to flow down to us. So regardless of the complexity of our problems, let’s try to keep our prayers simple and genuine nuh, for then I believe we will see better results.

And per adventures…what happened yesterday? I went back down to Store Bay, planning on the way to leave the duchess at our friend with the bar, but she wasn’t there, so the duchess ended up going with me to the beach.  And I made sure to stop and get my roti before I went. The lady claimed she had sold out the day before, that’s why she had closed earlier than normal. I ate it later and it tasted wonderful, nice pepper and some mango stuff. (smile)

Well Store Bay was kicking up again, although one of the lifeguards told me that it had been worse in the morning. I wouldn’t have wanted to see it then, because it was bad enough when I got there. 

And does the Lord ever move in mysterious ways! As I got to the top of the steps to go down to the beach, a tall, dark fellow was standing up there and I mentioned the roughness of the sea to him and we got to talking, only to find out that he was someone from my past, whom I had recently asked about.

His family lived in one of the apartments below us up Darrell Spring, when I was going to High School. He was born on Christmas Day so we called him Santa Claus, and he in his early days of talking named me Rando. He was really too young to remember me, but heard about me when he was growing up.

Later on, on the beach, I met a fellow whom I had taught at Fatima High School in Trinidad, some forty odd years ago. Is it ever a small world!

This little bit of excitement happened while I was in the water, out some ways from the shore, before the waves broke. I saw a skinny, older white man come into the water, and soon thereafter a wave washed over him as it broke. I saw him struggling to stand up and thought he was okay. But the lifeguards’ urgent whistle, and three of them running towards him told me differently. They lifted him up out of the water and led him, rather unsteadily to the shore.

Later on, while complimenting one of the lifeguards on their excellent job, he told me that the fellow was drunk, and if it had been in the morning, when the water was really rough, the fellow would have drowned. People don’t believe me when I tell them that Store Bay is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but when it gets unruly, hn, it’s also one of the most dangerous! And I can testify to that from personal experience.

Nothing much happened after that. On the way home, we stopped at our friends’ bar on the main road, sat with them for a while, then came home and did the usual; eat, read, watch t.v. and went to bed. Oh, oh, I forgot! Later in the evening we went up Bethel and listened to Redemption Sound Steelband practice. That wasn’t for long though. By ten p.m. we were back home.

Another simple, uneventful, but welcome and thankful day in the life, very different from those Jesus had, as outlined in our Bit. ‘And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.’

Oh Friends, I can’t declare enough the urgent need for us believers to be more compassionate to our fellow man. I was listening to an evangelical minister on the t.v. last night, and he kept stressing that our biggest concern nowadays ought to be compassion; obviously citing Jesus as the best example.

Oh my people, there’s so much strife, anger, hatred, resentment, hunger, poverty and need in our prosperous world, that the only thing to lessen it is compassion. It’s unconscionable, and definitely unchristian to see our brothers and sisters suffering and not help in whatever way we can. And there’s always some way in which we can help, even if it is only through a genuine smile and a kind word.

But unfortunately we’re allowing the greed, the lust for power and other worldly things to take precedence in our lives, rather than the things of God. Listen to this scripture from way back when, at a time when the Israelites were rebelling against God.

‘And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.’ (Num.27:15-17)

Ah Friends, our current time is exactly like that! We’re rebelling against the commandments of God, and we need good, sincere, godly, compassionate men and women to lead us out of the terrible sinful situation in which we have found ourselves. Without such godly leaders, we’ll just plummet further and further down into the dark and dangerous depths of Hades.

But my brethren, even with good leaders, each of us still has our little part to play in returning our world to a godly stance. So please, today let’s embrace whatever plan the Lord has shown us for our lives. And whatever it is, I’m sure it’s filled with lots of kindness and compassion, so please put them into action. It’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…if our God hadn’t been kind and compassionate towards us…we would never have had Jesus die for us…and thus still be headed for eternal separation from Him… 

P.S. Sorry it’s so late, but earlier on I got tied up in all sorts of unexpected stuff. But better late than never. (smile) And as the song on the radio’s saying, remember to pray for me. Much LOVE!