Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh mih people, the Bit will most likely be late today since I had a late night, and the body wasn’t too thrilled about getting up in the early hours of the morning. (smile) But all thanks to our great and wonderful God, we’re finally here and motoring on. Please give Him some thanks and praise for that.
 
And today we’ll continue with Bruh David’s story, how his life changed for the worse because of that lustful desire he couldn’t control; sleeping with Bathsheba, and the sordid manner and great lengths he went to, to have her for his own.
 
However Friends, one of the most important things to notice in that story is that when confronted by his sin, Bruh David admitted it. ‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.’ (2 Sam.12:13)
 
Yuh see God’s reaction to Bruh David’s admission; life… not death, as he deserved. But he wasn’t going to get away easily. For Nathan continued: ‘Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2 Sam.12:14)
 
So mih breddren, though Bruh David was allowed to live and continue to reign as king, he didn’t get away scot free from punishment for his ungodly behaviour. In fact he ended up paying a tremendous price. Now here are the scholars’ take on those verses.
 
’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5; 51:3-14) However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vv.15-18).
 
12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’
 
Please read those references Friends, for they are quite informative. And we all know how Bruh David fasted and prayed and cast himself upon the earth during the child’s sickness, and refused to be comforted. His people were even afraid to tell him when the child died, figuring that he would become even more depressed and distraught.
 
But Bruh David sees them whispering and figures out that the child has died, and when they confirm it: ‘Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required (requested), they set bread before him, and he did eat.’ (2 Sam.12:20)
 
Ah Friends, in all of that sorrow, Bruh David still remembered His God, and the first thing he did after cleaning up himself was to go to His house and worship Him. In our times of sorrow we ought also to remember our God.
 
And please note too his logic when asked by his staff about his strange behaviour; sort of mourning when the child was alive and coming out of mourning when he died.
 
‘And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God, will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ (2 Sam.12:22-23)
 
The long and short of the story though my people, is that SIN DOES NOT PAY!
 
And though we will always receive forgiveness for our repentance, the Lord will usually require, or requite some punishment for our transgressions. And usually the sooner we own up to the wrongdoing, the better. The worse thing we can ever do is deny our transgressions.
 
That’s the beauty of Bruh David’s walk with God; though he sinned abominably, he came clean when confronted with it, and the Lord was merciful and magnanimous enough to not take away everything from him. In fact He even gave him another child from Bathsheba, Cousin Sol (Solomon), the richest and wisest king ever to sit on Israel’s throne, and in the end Bruh David was a kinsman, forefather of God’s only Son, Jesus.
 
And we’ll end with some passages from one of Bruh David’s greatest psalms, Psalm 51; A prayer for cleansing, something he wrote after His tragic liaison with Bathsheba.
 
‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
 
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified (be found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest…. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 
 
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:1-4, 15-17)
 
Oh Friends, that’s possibly another reason why the Lord LOVED Bruh David so much and kept blessing him. He never shied away or tried to hide his hurt, his pain, his sin and whatever emotions he was feeling at a particular time. He always cried out to the God of his fathers whether in a good or bad situation with thanks and pleas for help.
 
And that’s how the Lord wants it with us too, my people. We need to cry out to Him with praise, thanks and pleas for help under any and all circumstances, good, bad and/or indifferent, for the Lord wants to play an integral part in all aspects of our lives.
 
So let’s remember that, and don’t try to hide or run from Him, but come to Him with confidence with whatever is troubling us, for He has promised to cleanse and forgive us once we confess our wrongdoing. And He is ever-faithful to keep His promises.
 
But please remember too that there’s usually a price to pay for wrongdoing, for though our God is a great, merciful and forgiving Deity, He is also a God of truth and justice, and disobedience must be paid for if He is to retain His righteousness, as Bruh David notes in the psalm above, (vs.4).
 
That brings us to the end of this promise Friends. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

Let’s hope we learned from it, especially from the practical application of it in Bruh David’s life, and will make the necessary adjustments to our own lives, so that we don’t fall into the same sinful traps and snares of Beelzebub.
 
For that will only further complicate our lives, bring God’s Word into disrepute and cause Him to admonish us. And if there’s one thing we can certainly do without is His admonishment. Much LOVE!
 
…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken (listen)…than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2013 Deuteronomy 26:10

Deuteronomy 26:10.    And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shall set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God.
 
 HAPPY THANKSGIVING  DAY CANADA!

And then it was Monday…!

But Monday with a twist Friends, because today, Canada, the BEST big country in the world is celebrating our Thanksgiving Day! Yes fellow believers, from the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador in the East, right across this great and wonderful land, through the granary that’s the Prairies, over the towering Rocky Mountains, down to the teeming waters of British Columbia in the West, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving Day!

Doing it in style too! (smile) We’re giving our majestic, magnificent and ever-LOVING God, thanks and praise for all the blessings and good things He’s rained down on us this past year! And He has indeed flooded us with His bountiful grace, LOVE, mercy, manna, and forgiveness every single day! 

And though there are still too many who are poor and needy, and also too many who are rich and greedy, overall, we’ve had a very good year. So let’s do, especially today, as Bruh Paul advised the Philippians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice,’ (Phil.4:4) 

Yes my brethren, regardless of our circumstances, we ought to always rejoice in the Lord our God, for it is Him who cause us to have life, health and wealth! Now that means many Canadians won’t be going out to labour today, but in support of those who have to go and mind our 24/7 industries, let’s sing a loud and most joyful Monday Morning Battle Hymn, to get their adrenalin going. 

As one 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!’

Now it’s been a rainy Sunday in my area, so that might have caused any planned outdoor activities to be moved inside, but I very much doubt it dampened the proceedings in general. Let’s hope that today will be a perfect day, so that we can all celebrate in good spirits.

And I didn’t mean the liquid kind… (smile) well not too much of it anyway, for remember Granny’s warning; sober or inebriated, please mind your business, because it’s during times of celebration when it’s easiest for Beelzebub to get into our souls and lead us astray.

So let’s bring in our Bit: ‘And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shall set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God.’

Yeh Friends this weekend was the time to bring our offerings to God, from the first fruits of our harvest, to show appreciation for all He’s done in making us prosperous.

It was God’s instructions to the children of Israel, to bring the first fruits of the harvest to the House of the Lord, to show their appreciation for His LOVING-kindness, for bringing them out of Egypt and installing them in the land of milk and honey, as well as to provide food for the priests and Levites who spent their time looking after the Lord’s affairs, and also to help feed the poor, the needy and the stranger. And it was to be done with a kind and grateful heart.

Then the Good Book instructs after our Bit: ‘And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.’ (Deut.26:11) 

So Friends, Thanksgiving is meant to be both a time of grateful appreciation as well as celebration! You can read all about God’s instructions re the harvest in Deuteronomy 26. And I remember growing up in Tobago; Harvest Weekend was one of my favourite times. The church would be decorated with all the produce enabled by God’s divine mercy, then on Monday, all the stuff would be taken to the school to be sold.

Obviously there would be no classes, and a fine time would be had by all, checking out all the wonderful stuff. Oh, I was even lucky enough when I went to Tobago last year in late November, to be in time for the Harvest Sunday celebrations, and I enjoyed it tremendously.  

Anyway Friends, I know you all are busy people, either have to go to work, or go out and celebrate, (smile) so I’ll close with one passage of scripture that encourages constant thanksgiving. It comes from Psalm 95; a psalm of praise to the great God.

Listen with an open mind and thankful heart, as the psalmist most wisely declares: ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.’ (Ps.95:1-3) 

Oh my brethren, those certainly are words of indisputable, gospel truth! And I hope all of us went to the House of the Lord this weekend and did exactly that, because it’s always a win, win situation: God is pleased, and we are refreshed and renewed. It doesn’t get any better than that my people. Much LOVE!

…we’re giving thanks…for all we’ve got…giving thanks…whether or not…giving thanks for the life in us…we’re giving thanks…yes, we’re giving thanks…  (Based on the song ‘Giving Thanks’ by Beres Hammond)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2013 Psalm 135:15

Psalm 135:15.    The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, oh Friends…. One more time I have to ask, what is really wrong with our world eh?
 
Oh Chuh man! Ponder this story nuh, this atrocity. Some time in the last two weeks, the people in an undeveloped province in Northern Pakistan suffered two serious earthquakes, with many deaths and severe damages to the area. Now apparently there are some militants in the province fighting for political separation and determination.
 
Now that’s all well and good, for sometimes there is cause to stand and fight. But instead of rushing to help the people in their unfortunate circumstances, it seems these militants were ambushing and killing the Federal people bringing supplies and medical help. Now tell me, is that the kind of people I want to govern and lead me? No way Jose!!!
 
How can you be killing people who are coming to help me in my time of dire need eh? Steups! And then you want to run my province? Not on yuh life, mih brother! If you see me suffering and deny me help, just to suit your political agenda, can you imagine what you’re going to do to me when you get in power?
 
Ah Lord eh! But unfortunately, these days that seems to be the modus operandi of all the supposed militants all over the word; they are only interested in one thing, political power, and too bad for anybody, even their own people, who get in their way.
 
And then they talk about it being in the name of God… Pure Hogwash! They’re simply worshipping at the altar of the idol of power!
 
And like our Bit says: ‘The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.’ 
 
Too many of us talk God, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, its the things of the world that we truly lust after and spend our lives following. But as we’ve been saying Friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom, because God sees and knows the true motives of our hearts.
 
Now hear this scripture from way back when, a time when Hezekiah, king of Judah received a threatening letter from Sennacherib, king of Assyria, which stated: ‘Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ (2 Kin.19:10)
 
Then the letter went on to boast about all the kings and gods of the lands that Assyria had conquered and wiped out, so why should Judah be any different? But Friends, please note Hezekiah’s actions when he received that letter, for it is very instructional to all of us today.
 
The Good Book says: ‘And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
 
Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
 
Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.’ (2 Kin.19:14-19)
 
Ah mih people, yuh see how we should ALL respond to EVERY crisis in our lives? Go straight to our wonderful, mighty, ever-LOVING God in prayer! That is definitely true wisdom, my brethren!
 
But how many of us do that eh? Certainly not enough! We first run to humans. And only if they can’t fix it, do we turn to God, with weeping and all sorts of beseeching, foolishly, but fully expecting Him to fix our problems right away.
 
Unfortunately though Friends, our God doesn’t operate like that. We need to be like Hezekiah; stay faithfully tuned to God when things are good, then run to Him FIRST, when things begin to go awry! 
 
Even though Isaiah had promised Hezekiah that the Lord would save Jerusalem, (2 Kin.19:6-7) he didn’t rely on the prophet’s words, but went himself before the Lord and placed his request, quite rightly acknowledging the Lord’s omnipotence and singular Deity over all the world.
 
Oh my people, when are we truly going to get that in our hearts eh, and stop allowing the things of the world prominence over the things of Almighty God? It’s only when we do that, that our world will move away from the nonsense it now elevates and treasures, and some semblance of reason and prosperity will return.
 
As the scholars say: ‘Hezekiah was truly a man of trust. He takes his concerns to God in prayer, believing that God would vindicate His name and deliver Jerusalem.’ 
 
That only says that we don’t truly believe and trust in God to fulfill His promises to us when we run to Him last and not first. Oh my people, I can only point us in the right direction, it’s up to each of us to follow it. If we do, we’ll surely be rewarded. But if we don’t, then we’ll certainly pay the price… and it’s usually a hefty one.
 
On a point of interest, you can read all about Hezekiah’s decent reign in 2 Kings Chapters 18-19, and the particular scripture I quoted above, can also be found in Isaiah Chapter 37. 
 

So then my fellow believers, today, let’s up the ante nuh; let’s raise our level of faith and trust in the Lord God Jehovah, not merely in words, but even more importantly in deeds, for that’s the only way we will ever improve our own lives and also bring the heathen to believe in the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Much LOVE!
 
…only the God who made us…can truly help us…