Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2021 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.      Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.

I hear you friends! I hear you calling out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and this miserable workweek soon done!’ And yes, the workweek might have been difficult and/or frustrating, but please look on the bright side nuh, you were one of the blessed ones, you at least had a job to go to. However, in these pandemic, riotous, disastrous and dangerous times, thousands of your brethren had none to go to, and would have grabbed yours without a backward glance. Many would have given their ‘eye-teeth,’ as the old people would say to have any li’l job at all, so they could make a few dollars to feed themselves and their families

. So please, let’s not belittle the work we do, even though it may not be as soul-satisfying as we desire. Times are exceedingly hard, and instead of complaining we ought to be thankful for what little we might have, because there are so many others around the world with so much less than us, who would be exceedingly glad and thankful to have the little we claim to have. 

That’s why this scripture writing of Bruh Paul to the Philippians is ever so important today. He writes: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil. 4:4) Yes friends, that’s the number one characteristic and attitude of believers in Christ Jesus; we are joyful in whatever situation we find ourselves. Remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy tries his best to steal our joy, because he knows that without that joy, which brings strength, we are totally at his evil mercy. 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (vs.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his pleas in verses 2 and 3, (to be of the same mind), is another reason to “rejoice.” 

In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And yuh better believe my brethren that in these perilous times the command to rejoice is indeed a call to faith, since we do have a wise, sovereign and LOVING God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to work out everything for our good eventually. Thus, the level of our joy rests on the level of our faith, on how much we believe what our Creator says. If our faith is strong, then our joy will be forthcoming, but if our faith is weak, then we will be filled with all kinds of doubts, fears and anxieties. 

That’s why Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:6) And the scholars tell us that ‘Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (vs.2) and who rejoices always (vs.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge any wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And we all know the command of verse 6. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) What a majestic and encouraging verse of scripture my people! We don’t need to be anxious for anything because we can take it all to God in sincere prayer and supplication, but with thanksgiving, letting Him know that we desperately need His help. That means thankfully laying our anxieties at His feet, assured that He can and will deal with them on our behalf. Thus, we are freed of the anxieties and worries, the doubts and frustrations of this evil and ungodly world. 

Wow! No wonder we are to rejoice and be thankful! And I would be amiss if I didn’t add some of the scholars’ explanation of that verse. They say, ‘Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (vs. 5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

So what’s the end result of all that eh? Bruh Paul states it thus: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Oh my people! ‘The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problems, and His ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

And that peace shall guard our hearts through our trust and belief in Christ Jesus! Glory be my fellow saints! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really, but we do need to take our current fears and anxieties to the Lord in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we need to keep our promises, if we expect the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my helper…I will not fear…                                                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 November 2021 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.      And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).

Well, well mih bredrin, can you believe it’s Sunday already? The last seven days have indeed passed quickly, but it’s all to the good, because we get another chance to gather on the Lord’s Day to praise, worship and give Him thanks, while He refreshes our souls and spirits, rebuilds our faith, and strengthens us to go back out and face the evil, ungodly world in the upcoming week. All praise and honour be to His holy name my people, for He richly deserves it! 

So let’s get the show on the road with our opening song, one most appropriately titled ‘God Answers Prayer,’ and sung by the Washington born young lady of Jamaican heritage, who originally went by the name of Lady Flame, but is now known as Da Flame. And as always, in scintillating, harmonious, heartfelt, soulful voice let’s raise our sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘Oh, If you’re ever feeling down and like you have nowhere 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 me. So let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer. Yes, let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer.’ And of that we are very sure my faithful brethren! Our great and good God answers prayer all the time, otherwise so many of us wouldn’t still be believers. 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ Now, if we are wise, we will do exactly as the song says, take all our problems, needs and wants to God in prayer. Hopefully, He will answer most of those that fall within His will and plan for our lives, but we will never know until we try. And there are so many scriptures that extol the power of prayer that I don’t know which ones to choose. So, let’s turn to the Lord in prayer and ask Him which ones He favours today. (smile) 

And the first one He directed me came from His wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Good Book tells us: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And that’s something Jesus did daily. Although He was the Son of God, He did not do anything without first consulting the Father. He still needed the Father’s help and guidance down here on earth. Jesus began His day with prayer. The scriptures record it thus. ‘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) 

So let me ask us this nuh mih people, if the Son of God made prayer an important part of His life, who are we, a sinful creation to do otherwise eh? Nothing but a bunch of proud, arrogant and foolish men! Jesus Himself preached in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7-8) 

And the scholars wisely inform us that ‘Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name.’ 

Yes friends, that’s how we ought to pray. And the model prayer referred to above is obviously what we now call the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ found in Matt. 6:9-15) And the part about ending in Jesus’ name comes from John 14:13-14, where He told the disciples: ‘And whatsoever 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.’ That means acting as Jesus’ agent or ambassador, doing stuff to uplift His name and church, not merely for our selfish worldly desires. 

And by the way, here’s that verse from Samuel which the scholars claim that not praying is sin. In asking Israel to serve God, Samuel said to them: ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.’ (1 Sam. 12:23) And the scholars explain: ‘12:23. Despite Israel’s sin, Samuel LOVED Israel and Saul and pledged his continued help, especially in praying for them and teaching them the Lord’s standards.’ So friends, you see that not praying is not a good thing. (smile) 

Now let’s wrap up with a couple of popular scriptures on prayer that we all know but don’t practice enough. Jeremiah said on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:12-13) Now that’s a very important condition of prayer friends, seeking the Lord with all our heart, sincerely calling upon Him. For remember He checks our hearts before He makes any response to see if our motives are right. 

And we’ll end with this popular and all-inclusive scripture from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) And that’s my prayer for all of this Sunday morning my faithful brethren. Much LOVE!

…pray…without ceasing… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                                         

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2021 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.     Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Oh my fellow believers, it’s Sunday! That means it’s time to come together, once more, to worship Christ in all sincerity and truth! Oh yeah! Nothing can be better, more beautiful or righteous and praiseworthy than that! And as always, we begin our worship with a song of praise and thanksgiving. Today’s song is a Christian contemporary song written in the last century by a couple of American Hit songwriters. It’s titled ‘I asked the Lord.’ 

And what’s interesting about this song is that the writers, Jimmy Duncan, 1927-2011, and Johnny Lange 1905-2006, both had a hand in writing some non-gospel hit songs. Duncan wrote the famous country/western hit ‘My Special Angel’ for Bobby Helms in the late fifties, and Lange wrote the gimmicky song ‘Mule Train,’ made popular by Frankie Laine in 1949. You folks of the younger generation won’t know those songs, but they are classics from your parents’ days. (smile) 

And we are indeed thankful that Duncan and Lange collaborated to give us this wonderful Christian song. I hadn’t heard it in a long time, until a couple of days ago, when someone sent it to me through a WhatsApp video. And I just knew that we had to sing it today because it’s so beautiful and applicable to our lives in these trying and troubled times. Now some people sing it slow, but we’re going to put a medium tempo with a solid, soulful gospel touch to it today. 

So let’s sing: ‘I asked the Lord to comfort me When things weren’t going my way; And He said to me, “I will comfort you And I’ll lift your cares away.” I asked the Lord to walk with me, when darkness was all that I knew; And He said to me “Never be afraid, and I will see you through.” I didn’t ask for riches, but He gave me wealth untold, The moon and the stars, the sun in the sky, and He gave me eyes to behold. 

I thank the Lord for everything, and I count all my blessings each day; For He came to me when I needed Him, I only had to pray. And He will come to you, if you ask Him to, For He’s only a prayer away. I thank the Lord for everything, and I count all my blessings each day; For He came to me when I needed Him, I only had to pray. And He will come to you, if you ask Him to, For He’s only a prayer away.’ 

And is that ever the gospel truth my brethren! God is only a prayer away from us, and all we have to do is ask Him to come and He will gladly come, come running too! Oh friends, Jesus said it several times and several different ways. Let’s hear some of them nuh. This first one He says when He talks about not judging. ‘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.’ (Matt. 7-8) 

And after He cursed the fig tree, He told the disciples: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) Then in John, when Jesus declares that He is the only way to the Father, He tells the disciples: ‘And whatsoever 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) And when He talks about the vine and the branches, He states: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ (John 15:7) 

Then this final scripture, when Jesus tells the disciples about going back to the Father and leaving them, and seeing their sorrow, He offers comforting words. ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy shall be full.’ (John 16:24) So you see friends, asking is a big part of our relationship with God. However, that asking is not to be frivolous and self-centred, but in the will of God. Hear John explain it in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in Him (Christ), that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ (1 John 5:14) 

And remember too that Jesus said we should ask in His name, that means as His agents or ambassadors, to be able to do His work. God always wants to give us good things, but we must ask persistently, unselfishly and in faith. The important thing my brethren is that we get into God’s will, want what He wants. And when that happens then this wonderful verse from Psalm 37 will come into play. ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) 

As one commentator says: ‘The key here is that the heart of the seeker is changed—when we delight in the Lord, God’s desires begin to become our own. When our desires match God’s, then our prayers are automatically aligned with His will.’ So, asking is good and right, but there are conditions. 

A couple of other important scriptures can be derived from the song. Where it says: ‘And He said to me, “I will comfort you And I’ll lift your cares away.” That points right back the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (humble and gentle): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Yes my fellow saints, there is no other place to find rest, comfort and succour than in the arms, or under the umbrella of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And I want to close with this other important attitude we can derive from the song, that of counting our blessings and giving thanks. Listen up to these wonderful scriptures on the subject. Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph. 5:20) 

To the Philippians. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) And finally from the psalmist: ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Ps. 100:4-5) 

That says it all my people! Much LOVE!

…when you consider the greatness of our God…it just takes your breath away                                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                     

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2021 Philippians 4:7.

Philippians 4:7.     And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So what’s up this Friday morning friends? I guess some of us are hard at work, while others are drifting around, suffering from the after-effects of covid. But please, please, my people, whatever we do, or whatever ‘sufferation’ we’re currently going through, let’s not allow covid and its evil tentacles to break our resolve to stand strong and live this life for Jesus! 

We need to put up a good fight against it, and we can only do so if we have Jesus in our corner. The world is fighting a tough battle with several things at the same time, but as believers in Christ, sanctified as His church, we are ever so privileged to have Him battle alongside us with a faithful promise of eventual victory! 

But to gain that victory, we have to do our part in the partnership, that’s read and meditate on His word, keep His commandments, and spread LOVE and the other eight fruit of the Spirit all around us, so that others will want to join our band of strong, powerful and victorious saints. Only when others see us standing strong, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, shining forth like a beacon set on a hill, despite the trials and tribulations we’re facing, will they ever contemplate coming to Jesus and getting some of that same peace, LOVE, friendship and gospel truth to set them free from this sinful the world. 

And I believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, can help us stand up strong this Friday. It is called ‘The Hardest Thing.’ So please read with me: ‘O God In these crisis days Of piercing pain And emotional fatigue Do a brand new thing in me. Give me water in the wilderness And streams in my desert. You have promised to be my God Through all my lifetime. Surely You will keep Your word! As You promised Give me rest from my sorrow And from my fear and from the bondage that binds me. One thing more, dear Lord: Enable me to praise you When to praise Is the hardest thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth? We need to praise the Lord even when times are tough and we don’t feel like doing it, or just can’t get up the wherewithal to do it. It’s the number one thing in our living for God; praising and glorifying Him. As Bruh Paul so wisely wrote to the church at Philippi: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests 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. 4:6-7) 

Ah mih people, it’s only when we go to God in prayer and pour out our hearts to Him, while offering up thanks and praise at the same time, that the wonderful peace of God will come into our souls, and drown out all the anxiety and worry that’s permeating them. Our circumstances may not necessarily change, but we will be better able to handle them. And that’s what Jesus promises. With Him living and working in us, we are enabled to handle the world and its sinful and evil ways with a peaceful and quiet mind and spirit. Now isn’t that something wonderful to aspire to? 

I certainly think so, and I have the peace of mind to prove it. No, my life is not a bed of roses, in fact because I am considered a teacher of the word, I am tested more than the normal person, to see if I’m adhering to, or practicing what I preach. (smile) And some days, before I’m even finished writing the Bit, I have to chuckle because the Lord will throw up something I’ve just written about and test me with it. Sometimes I pass the test…sometimes I don’t. But the Lord knows the state of my heart and helps me to come up higher in the tests I fail. And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, with God, there are no downgrades, but you do keep getting to take those tests over and over until you pass them. 

Now here is the Bible Promise attached to our poem. It comes from Jeremiah, as he talks about the restoration of Israel. ‘Then shall the virgin (maidens) rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together (as well): for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.’ (Jer. 31:13) Now isn’t that a mighty encouraging scripture? But of course! It’s one of the many promises our God has made if we are obedient to His word. And I’m sure we’ll all agree that that situation isn’t currently happening in our world to the extent needed, so no wonder our world is in constant upheaval. 

But if we want peace and understanding to flourish in our time, we need to turn to God in prayer and thanksgiving. And my brethren, there’s no better time to do that than right now. So let’s offer up our Friday Chant in all sincerity and sense of purpose nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife is causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

The next step my fellow saints, is for us to begin acting like faithful believers and setting good examples. Much LOVE!

…the only way to find true peace…read your Bibles…pray and give thanks…every day…                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8               


Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6.    Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Oh Friends, please sing the Wednesday Wail with me to open today’s proceedings! (smile) I’m still not sure if it’s going to be a permanent part of our routine, but for now, let’s sing it for all we’re worth and start our day off on the right foot – with prayer.

In sweet harmony now, let’s sing: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of live is still flowing through me on this Wednesday!

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

And what a glorious future that promises to be my brethren, for remember what the Lord promises in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11)

What a marvelous promise that is my people! Our God only has good thoughts towards us, and a wonderful future in store for those who LOVE Him and sincerely keep His commandments and do His will. So please, let’s stop worrying and fretting about the things of life which we can’t control, and just surrender them all to Jesus, who has our best interests at heart, and is in control of ALL THINGS. Glory to God!

Now Friends, let’s turn to our Bit, which is another piece of encouraging and comforting scripture. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Ah mih people, excellent words of godly advice and wisdom that! And it follows logically that if God is sovereign, supreme and in control, then who better for us to turn to, in whatever state we might be in, be it good, bad or indifferent? NOBODY my brethren!

The Creator of the universe and all therein wants us to come to Him with every problem, every woe, and also when things are right, just to fellowship with Him in peace and LOVE!

So just like we spend time with our earthly fathers, both in the good and bad times, likewise we ought to make it a habit to turn to our heavenly Father regardless of what’s happening in our lives. That’s a line of communication we must keep open at all times, if we are to truly enjoy the blessings and benefits of being a true believer.

But enough of me, (smile) let’s hear some scripture which validates our Bit. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 26, where he invites the Lord to examine and prove him.

‘I have hated the congregation of evildoers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency (innocence):  so will I compass (go about) thine altar, O Lord: That I may publish (proclaim) with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.’ (Ps.26:5-7)

Yes Friends, in these difficult and trying last days, we also need to get our lives together and proclaim the wondrous works that God has done in our lives. For how will the heathen, the unbeliever hear about them otherwise eh? It’s all up to us and the Holy Spirit working together in tandem.

Now hear Bruh Paul’s simple but powerful advice to the Thessalonians. ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18)

What wonderful words of wisdom my people! Hn! What could be better than rejoicing, praying and giving thanks on a constant basis eh? NOTHING at all folks!

And the scholars give us this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’

And that my brethren, giving thanks even in the face of adversity, though such an important part of our belief system, is much easier said than done. It’s no problem to be grateful when times are good, but being thankful when they are rough, goes against the very grain of our sinful nature.

But it is something that’s required of us, and like most other things in life, we can only get perfect at it by consciously practicing it. So let’s make a conscious choice to practice it nuh, until it becomes and automatic habit.

And then the psalmist, in Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God, joyfully proclaims: ‘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 (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods.’ (Ps.95:1-3)

Oh Friends, there’s no disputing those last statements, therefore it behooves us to approach our heavenly Father with the reverence and thanksgiving that He so rightfully deserves. And if you think all of that is a bit much, then please check out what is happening around God’s throne in heaven, as John the Revelator describes it.

‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.)’ (Rev.4:8-11)

Oh mih people, can you imagine the celebration, the praise and thanksgiving that’s constantly going on in heaven! Mama Mia! Our earthly pilgrimage ought also to reflect that constant joy and praise for the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein.

So please, let’s get serious about giving God ALL the glory for ALL that we do nuh, for that is certainly the wisdom of both heaven and earth! Much LOVE!

…Holy, holy, holy…Lord God Almighty…early in the morning…our song shall rise to thee…Holy, holy, holy…merciful and mighty…God in three persons…blessed Trinity…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Aye Friends, welcome to another day in the unfolding of God’s great universe! It is unfolding as it should. We might not think it logical or understand it, but all we need to know is that God is still on the throne, and still in control of what He made. His thoughts and abilities are way higher than ours, so our small, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend all that’s going on.

Be not afraid though, for everything is working to plan; God’s plan that is. Just rest in the comfort and reassurance of His tender, forgiving and merciful embrace and allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to lead and guide you on the straight and narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. End of sermon. (smile)

And now, on this wet and cloudy Tuesday morning in my area, here’s a simple but powerful prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Shuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I WILL MOVE…’ I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, because it doesn’t even look familiar to me. Hn! And I’ve been reading the book for several years now.

Anyway, please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’

Oh my people, what true and wonderful sentiments! That’s just what I was saying earlier; putting your hope and trust in Almighty God is the only wise and sensible way to proceed in this mish-mash thing we call life. Without His involvement in our lives we are simply powerless and rudderless, aimlessly drifting on a tossing sea of sin and sinfulness, which augurs no good whatsoever to anybody.

But with Jehovah God in our lives, as Gramps Schuller so rightfully declares, we keep moving ahead in an exciting life, filled with hope, glory, strength and success!

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise Him for His wonderful LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, that we certainly ought to do, for our God does deserve much reverence and thanksgiving! 

And talking about reverence and thanksgiving, listen to our Bit, which details it marvellously for us. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Without a doubt my brethren, the wise way is always to bring everything to God in prayer with much thanks for all that He’s done and still doing for us.

And the scholars offer this information on our Bit. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) (‘The Lord is at hand’) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, “in every matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’

Ah Friends, unfortunately too many of us don’t put that advice in to action, therefore we are worried and anxious about all sorts of things. I guess it depends on the level of faith to which we have attained; meaning the greater our faith, the more we submit or adhere to the programme.

Consequently we need to build our faith so that going to God with EVERYTHING in prayer with thanksgiving becomes an automatic action in our lives. And I can tell you from personal example, it works my brethren, it truly works!

You might not always get the answer you want, or even deserve, but if you follow the leading of God’s Spirit that dwells within you, you will seldom go wrong. It won’t always be an easy row to hoe, but it will be definitely interesting and worthwhile.

And in support of our Bit, let’s look at some defining scriptures. First up is Jesus’ profound pronouncement from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ (Matt.6:25)

And the scholars offer this splendid explanation of that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions.

To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. That’s why so many of us are so insecure. We place too much emphasis on the material things of life; worry too much about them, and work too hard to acquire them. We do need them, but listen to Jesus further on the issue.

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And if you are a person of faith, a true believer in Christ, then you will understand that if you do the will of God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will indeed provide for all our material wants and needs.

It’s all a matter of faith, my brethren. Believe and you will not worry, and will be amply provided for. Do not believe, then you will worry, be anxious and stress yourself out, and still not be sure of having all your needs met. And on that most important note, we’ll end today’s message.

Oh Friends, I implore us to have faith, or to raise the level of our faith, so that we won’t have the unnecessary worry and concern that comes with lack of faith. That is the wisdom of both heaven and earth. Much LOVE!

…why walk in worry…when one can walk worry free in faith…