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 20 July 2018 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.   ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

‘One more day, one more day in the kingdom of God!’ Wow friends, nothing can be better than spending another day in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and Friend, Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful’ Praise the Lord! Yes my brethren He does deserve our praise for the wonderful things He’s done, is doing, and will continue to do in our lives. So much so, that despite all the vile and negative things that are happening in our world, we don’t need to worry about them, because He is in control. Please remember that. 

In any case we can’t do anything about those major problems, so why worry about them eh? Worry never solved anything yet. But we’re not to just sit around idly and do nothing. We must try to fix, with God’s help obviously, the things directly around us that need fixing. So please let’s keep trying to do our best, and go about God’s business like diligent worker bees nuh. (smile) 

And it’s a glorious Friday out there, which means the workingman is singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… and the weekend is here! Glory be! No more work, just play! Play…play…play! We’re going to be playing in the summer time! No holds barred…no stones left unturned. It’s just going to be one helluva good time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from work, but we don’t need to go overboard in our thanksgiving like the workingman likes to do. (smile) As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to keep the lid on the boiling pot, not let it boil over. That’s why our Friday Chant is more restrained than the workingman’s song. So in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s enthusiastically chant it nuh, and show the world our style. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

And yes, our style might be too restrictive for a lot of people. They prefer the leggo beast attitude of the workingman, but friends, that attitude doesn’t get you anywhere in the long run. As they say, you’re giving up long-term gain for short-term pleasure. But unfortunately that’s the way of the world. We want it now! 

And too many of us supposed believers are falling for the enemy’s wiles; seeking whatever they can get now, and not paying sufficient attention to their eternal future. That’s a sad mistake my brethren, for this earthly life is short, compared to the eternity that’s to come after it. 

So it’s therefore necessary to make suitable provision for the hereafter, just like we make provision for today. And the wisest and most sensible provision we can make is committing our lives to Jesus Christ; for He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

As Jesus declared to His disciples in our Bit before He gave them the Great Commission: ‘ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ And He could say that with great confidence because the Father hath indeed raised Him up for His selfless obedience and sacrifice of offering His sinless life to reconcile a bunch of no-good sinners like you and me. 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly wrote to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also 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.2:5-11) 

Yes friends, Jesus, though God incarnate, He didn’t try to use His godly authority for personal aggrandizement, but humbled Himself under the Father’s tutelage and did His work without complaint, therefore the Father raised Him to the highest level possible. Likewise, as followers of Jesus, we ought to have the same attitude He had; be humble and obedient to the Father’s will, so that He can also raise us up to higher levels. That’s wisdom in spades. Much LOVE!

…Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) puts it so simply and clearly…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…