Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2020 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    ​The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 
It’s like a ghost town; like a lockdown in jail! Mama! The whole country is now in a state of near immobility. There’s been directives from the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Mayor, even my City Councillor to shut it down, stay home and practice social distancing. Hn! What a bam bam! Around my house, only the birds are singing, and hopefully the garbage truck will soon pass by to pick up the garbage. Nothing or no one else seems to be moving. I don’t know if our world has ever had so many states of emergencies at the same time, even in times of serious warfare. But that’s what it seems it will take to help defeat this Coronavirus. 

And life is so strange and mankind so foolish, stubborn and full of himself, that I want to share something that if it’s true, and there’s no reason to doubt it, could have avoided a lot of this disaster. It’s a video of an apparent warning from Bill Gates, back in 2015, at a conference about the Ebola Virus; another virus that caught us flat-footed and without any protection.  His words were: ‘Today, the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn’t look like this…’ and the video shows a huge nuclear cloud mushrooming in the atmosphere. ‘Instead, it looks like this…’ and the video shows a microscopic enlargement of a germ cell. 

‘If anything kills over ten million people over the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic! You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they are infectious that  they get on a plane or they go to a market. The source of the virus could be a natural epidemic like Ebola or it could be bio-terrorism. And so there are things that would literally make things a thousand times worse. 

In fact, let’s look at a model of a virus spread through the air, like the Spanish flu back in 1918. So here’s what would happen: It would spread throughout the world very very quickly…’ And a graph comes up showing how quickly the virus spread back then – some 36 million in 263 days – ‘And you can see that over 30 million people died from that epidemic. So this is a serious problem. We should be concerned. But in fact we can build a really good response system. We have the benefits of all the science and technology that we’ve talked about here. 

We’ve got cell phones, to get information from the public and to get information out to them; we have satellite maps, where we can see where people are, and where they’re moving; we have advances in biology that should dramatically change the turn around time to look at a pathogen and be able to make drugs and vaccines that’s fit for that pathogen. So we can have tools, but those tools need to be put into an overall global health system…and we need preparedness. The best lessons I think on how to get prepared, are again what we do for war. 

For soldiers, we have full time – waiting to go. We have reserves that can scale us up to large numbers and NATO has a mobile unit that can deploy very rapidly. NATO does a lot of war games to check, are people well trained, that they understand about fuel and logistics and the same radio frequencies, so they are absolutely ready to go. So those are the kinds of things we need to deal with an epidemic. And what are the key pieces? Our first is, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That’s where mothers can give birth safely, where children can get all their vaccines, but also where we’ll see the outbreak very early on. 

We need a medical reserve corps; lots of people who’ve got the training and background; who are ready to go with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military; taking advantage of the military’s ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations; germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn’t  go so well. So far the score is germs one, people zero. Finally we need lots of advance R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics. There are some big breakthroughs like the adeno associated virus that could work very quickly. 

Now I don’t have an exact budget for what this would cost, but I’m quite sure that it’s very modest compared to the potential harm. The world bank estimates that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic, global wealth will go down by over three trillion dollars, and we’d have millions and millions of death. These investments offer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic; the primary health care, the R&D, those things will reduce global health equity and make the world more just, as well as more safe. 

So I think this should absolutely be a priority. There’s no need to panic. We don’t have to hoard cans of spaghetti, or go down into the basement, but we need to get going, because time is not on our side. In fact, if there’s one positive thing, that can come out of the Ebola epidemic, is that it can serve as an early warning, a wake up call to get ready. If we start now, we can be ready for the next epidemic. Thank you!’ 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom eh! But the sad part is that we never took Bill’s advice. Now if we don’t take the advice of the richest and one of the most powerful men in the world, who’s are we going to take eh? You can say all you want about him, and how he got his wealth and how he can afford to sit in his ivory tower and talk, but like a prophetic warning, his words have come through, a mere five years later. And we were not ready! And besides, the virus is not a respecter of persons, it takes both the rich and powerful as well as the poor and needy. 

So we’ll see oodles of deaths, let’s hope not millions, and the world economy has already been devastated, by more than 3 trillion, since most things and places around the world have been shut down. What’s the next step eh? We now fighting to do the R&D, and hopefully sometime develop a suitable vaccine, but all of that takes time, and until then, people will die, and the world will become more like a death camp and poverty stricken place than a thriving and prosperous hotspot. 

Oh my people, it’s the same thing with the warnings in the Good Book: tribulation and calamity will befall us if we don’t reverence, worship and obey our Creator. Cousin Sol said it in spades: ‘The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s why we find ourselves in disasters such as these. But our foolishness, and consequently our calamities, can be minimized, if we will follow true wisdom and turn to our great, forgiving and merciful God in prayer. 

Friends, it’s our ONLY hope! Even if we find an antidote for this current virus, something else will soon assault us if we don’t get ready for it with constant and sincere prayer. So please, I implore us, not only in these calamitous times, but when they pass. ‘To pray without ceasing. And in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) Much LOVE!

…there’s lots of truth to the old saying…if you don’t hear…you’re going to feel…

P.S. Yes I know it’s long and late, but I got up late, and the warning might be a tad late for now, but if we survive this, there will be a next time. So let’s be wise and learn from it nuh! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 
So we starting off the week in panic mode eh, because of the Corona virus… Almost everything shut down…and in many countries too. And on a point of interest, I wonder how the Corona Beer is doing in these times eh? (smile) Is it selling more or less? Are they still producing it? Strange, but I haven’t seen or heard any mention of that in any of the many news reports. 

But seriously though, what’s going to happen now eh? Who knows? Only the Most High God! And very few of us seem to be paying Him any attention at all. What a pity, because He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands. In times of panic we’re supposed to run to our Maker, but too many of us seem to be running elsewhere! But, as with most things, when we finally run out of our own solutions, we usually turn to Him as a last resort, instead of the First Resort! 

Anyhow, be that as it may, the situation’s so bad that some of us don’t have any jobs to go to, especially if you’re part of the gig economy and your place of employment is shut down due to government edict, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Hn! What a bam bam eh! Some of us with full time jobs might be blessed enough to get paid to stay home, but I believe that will most likely be the minority. And for those of us who must go out into the fray… Oh, we can’t call it that any longer, since half the world is locked up inside, (smile) many are frightened because of the possibility of contracting the virus from others we meet. 

So what’s the solution eh? That ought to be obvious. We were just talking about our First Resort in times of trouble…the Lord God Jehovah, call on Him for help, turn to Him in sincere prayer. It’s been the number one resort since our faith was born. And hear the Lord to Cousin Sol nuh, when they dedicated the first temple: ‘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 will I 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 that promise still stands firm and faithful to this day. Listen to the scholars. ‘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).’ Ah friends, what more can I say eh, especially if, as too many of us think, the Old Testament is no longer of any value to us? 

Then I’ll just have to reinforce it with verses from the New Testament! (smile) The first being from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ And Jesus didn’t only talk the talk, He also walked the walk. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) And if you still need convincing (smile), then listen to Bruh Paul 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) 

And if you think that’s a bit much, then let the scholars explain. ‘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 rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs.18), and by despising prophetic utterances (vs.20) inspired by the Spirit.’ And we won’t worry to get into Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to pray for all men, and all in power, and that men should pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:1-8), we’ll just get into some prayer of our own. I’ve sort of rejigged our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. (smile) 

So altogether 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’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Some of us still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to your Word, but we know that you are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as the politicians, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a masterful antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Well that’s the best I could do on short notice. (smile) But please, I beg us to remember that we’ve promised to turn from our evil ways and be more obedient to God’s Word, and if we don’t keep our promise, He’s liable to just let another plague strike the earth, cause He’s still in control of all that happens down here. And remember too that the Lord looks at our hearts, our motives before moving into action, so mere words without sincere, heartfelt motives won’t move Him. Now let’s hunker down and do our part, whatever that might be, faithfully trusting the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most powerful tool in our faith box…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2018 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11.    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).
 
 

Well it’s Tuesday mih breddren, and the Thanksgiving celebrations are over for another year… No, let me take that back: the large, overt celebrations are over for another year, because thanksgiving is something that should never cease in a believer’s life. Yuh notice how even in heaven the beasts and the elders fall down on their knees and worship and give thanks to God. 

Hear this moving scripture. ‘And the four beasts (living creatures) had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not (cease) 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 honor 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) 

Yes friends, giving thanks and honour and glory to Almighty God is something that should never end! Even when we get to heaven we’ll do it, because our heavenly Father is indeed worthy of such exaltation. And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘4:6-8. The four beasts or living creatures (lit. “living ones”) are probably angels (cf. Ezek.10:15-22) who guard the throne of God. 

The eyes symbolize wisdom, and the wings depict movement. They worship God as did the seraphim in Isaiah’s vision (cf. Is.6:1-3). The lion represents strength (cf. Ps.103:20), the calf service (cf. Heb.1:14), the face of a man intelligence (cf. Luke 2:52) and the eagle swiftness (cf. Dan 9:21). The angelic vision has a strong allusion to Ezekiel 1:4-14.’ 

You have a lot of scripture to check out there friends. (smile) I just checked them out and they are indeed very interesting and make sense as the scholars explain. And per our Bit and the two verses before, the scholars tell us: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ 

That last sentence should speak very powerfully to us my brethren, making us realize just how indebted and dependent we are on our heavenly Father; the Creator and Controller of the universe! We exist at His behest and pleasure, and He can shut us down with a mere thought. 

Thankfully though, He is not a God of mere whims and fancies, but a strong and solid Deity who LOVES us to the death, although we don’t deserve it. All that we are and desire to be, depends solely on Him. That’s why I can’t understand why it’s so difficult for so many of us to truly serve and worship and give thanks to Him. 

Why do you think Bruh Paul wrote these three verses to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16:18) Because that’s exactly what the Lord desires of every believer in His Son Jesus Christ; praying, rejoicing and the giving of thanks! 

Now hear John the Revelator again as he talks about the Lion and the Lamb: ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders:  and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts (living creatures) said, amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.’ (Rev.5:11-14) 

Ah friends, what more can I say eh? If we truly believe in Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit as our Triune Deity, then it behooves us to serve and worship and give them thanks, now and forever! And we’ll go home declaring (spelled it right) our Tuesday Mantra, which tells the world who and whose we are. 

But I’ll like to add a li’l something at the beginning because many of us, though we mouth it every week, still believe that we’re what we do and what we have. I recently heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power) from whom I originally got the Mantra, make that point. And he believes we should preface it with ‘In God’s eyes:’ just to be precise. 

So here we go, in loud voice and sincere hearts:  ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, forget how the world thinks about or judges you, the only important opinion is that of Almighty God, and He LOVES us just as we are. So let’s go out and share that LOVE now, as He so greatly desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…for true believers…godly thanks and praise…exaltation, honour and glory…should constantly be in our hearts…and our tongues…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add 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.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2017 John 16:24.

John 16:24.   Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Aye mih people, there’s been rebellion in the camp this Tuesday morning; a strong sense of mutiny is in the air. My aging, aching and apparently weary body bluntly refused to get up this morning when I commanded it to. 

Steups! It simply stated that it was not well rested enough to get up and perform the duties I desired, then calmly rolled over and went back to sleep. What is our world coming to eh, when our own flesh is rebelling against us eh? (smile) 

I obviously had no choice but to roll over and go back to sleep with it… That is until it felt rested enough to get up and perform its duties in the excellent manner that our Leader, Jesus Christ requires of us. 

Ah mih friends, yesterday was indeed a bit rough on the body, and not because of any great doings nuh, just the simple day-to-day aspects of living, but without the required rest thrown in for good measure. And that’s what’s killing many of us; we try to live life too busily, what with all the amenities we have, multitasking and what not. 

But that’s not how God made us to go about this earthly life. And here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises titled ‘The Reason,’ which accentuates what I’m talking about. 

Please pray with me. ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I so often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all, God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of your shining Presence? God, why? Why?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, too often, too many of us cry out to the Lord with words and feelings akin to those. But you know what God replies. It’s so simple and true: ‘Because you pray so little.’ Amen! 

Yeh friends, if our souls and spirits are always, or too often in turmoil, then it simply means that we’re not communicating with our heavenly Father enough. 

And the Bible verse for that promise is the middle verse of these simple and basic instructions from Bruh Paul 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) 

And yuh know my brethren, if we’d simply adhere to those three, simple basic things, ‘rejoicing, praying and giving thanks’ continually, our lives would be amazingly less troublesome and confrontational. 

Now that is exactly what Christ is saying to the disciples, and to us in our Bit. ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ 

He’s telling them that up to that time, they hadn’t asked anything of God in His name, but that they should begin doing so, because He is the conduit between mankind and the Creator. You can’t get to the Father except through Him. And if you ask, you’ll receive. 

And isn’t that  the general way things happen? When we want something we ask for it? And hopefully we’ll receive it. Obviously Jesus wasn’t talking about blatantly selfish needs or worldly lusts and sensual pleasures, but stuff that it would please the Father to give us, like our daily bread, and forgiveness of our sins. 

Now yesterday we looked at the ‘joy’ aspect of our Bit, today let’s look a little at the asking and receiving part of it. Jesus said it several times; the most famous being: ‘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.7:7-8) As always, simple instructions from our Leader. 

And after He had cursed the fig tree and told the disciples about having faith, He reiterated. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ Matt.21:22) 

And the last quote from Jesus, after He tells the disciples about His going back to the Father. ‘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 any thing in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

The scholars explain: ‘13-14: In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works,” (vs.12). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

However friends, there is one proviso scripture to all of that. Listen to James. ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (worldly pleasures). (James 4:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, that just shows that a lot of the times we ask for the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and the Lord will not grant them to us. We need to ask for the things of God, so we can do His work. 

That brings us to our Tuesday Mantra. Let’s declare it as though we truly mean it. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to walk that talk! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t ask…you won’t get…simple as that…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17‏

1 Thessalonians 5:17.   PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Ah Friends, I wish I could say that it was a bright and beautiful morning in my neck of the woods. But unfortunately I can’t, because it ‘s damp, like some rain fell a while ago, and it’s cloudy.

But you know what, as fellow believers in Christ, we don’t have to allow the weather or anything else really to dictate how we feel, to control our emotions and our behaviour, since in Jesus we have the great I AM, the wonderful Saviour who gives us His peace and wisdom and guidance and blessings anew each day.

That’s whom we must take our direction from, not the things and powers of this world. For remember what Peter and the other apostles told the Jewish council when they upbraided them for preaching Christ crucified and resurrected, after being warned to cease and desist? ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ (Acts 5:29)

And the scholars explain here: ‘5:29. Peter is not sanctioning civil disobedience, as he makes clear in his first epistle (1 Pet.2:13-17; cf. Rom.13:1-7). We are to obey civil government, but when it goes contrary to the explicit commands of God, we must obey God and be ready to suffer the consequences.’

So please lets remember that and keep our focus on Jesus. And here’s a nice little ditty (smile) from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘MY DELIGHT!’

And it says: “You are My Delight…” This dear God You said to Jesus At the moment of His baptism There in the river Jordan. He is Your Son I am your child Forever related to You through Him. Baptize me dear God In the river of Your LOVE Your Joy Your Power Until with deep and widening gladness You can say to me Your chosen child “You are my delight.”

Oh Friends, what a delightful wish! It’s one that all God’s children can desire, for it causes us all to become more Christ-like, which is the Father’s intention anyway. And the scripture promise for that ditty is: ‘The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing LOVE.’ (Ps.147:11, NIV) 

And that’s the indisputable, gospel truth my people! Our most LOVING God wants us to be delighted in dealing with Him and the things of His realm. And one of those things that delights Him and should also delight us is prayer; prayer that brings us to a close relationship with Him.

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians in our Bit, and consequently us to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:17-18)

And the scholars have an interesting note to that last verse. ‘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.’

Yes my brethren, even when times are rough and we don’t see any way out, we still need to have a prayerful attitude, because our God has promised to make a way for us to bear whatever comes against us, when there seems to be no way. (1 Cor.10:13) So we have to keep that attitude of prayer always with us as Jesus did.

Luke tells us that on the night before His crucifixion: ‘And he came out, and went, as he was wont (accustomed), to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ (Luke 22:39-40)

And that Friends, also applies to us today. We ought to keep praying that we enter not into temptation. And that doesn’t mean we should not be beset by temptation, because we will always be while on this wicked earth, but that we won’t fall into or give into it.

And we all know what Jesus did after He told the disciples that. He went apart and prayed to His Father, desiring Him to take away the cup of the crucifixion, if it was His will. And Jesus prayed so hard and intensely that His sweat seemed like ‘great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:44)

But we all know too that Jesus bowed to the Father’s will ‘nevertheless not my will, but thine be done,’ (Luke 22:42) although He knew that things were about to get real rough. Like wise Friends so are we to bow to the Father’s will for our lives, even though we know that serious adversity is in the offing.

And as pertaining to prayer, Jesus is again a perfect example. When promising the Holy Spirit, He tells the disciples: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’(John 14:15-16)

And later on Jesus prays for the disciples. ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.’ (John 17:9) And Jesus was so brilliant and beautiful that He even prayed for us: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.’ (John 17:20)

Oh my people, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have. Imagine Him having the foresight and also the goodness of heart to pray for those who would believe in Him through the words of the disciples and other teachers when He was long gone! Wow! How can I not LOVE Him eh!

Ah Friends, prayer should be such an integral part of our lives, like breathing, we should always have it on our minds. Like Bruh David says in Psalm 109: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Ps.109:4)

Yes my people, giving ourselves unto prayer is one of the wisest and most beautiful things we can do in this life. It’s wisdom that truly comes from heaven! Much LOVE!

…at the time of decision…or indecision…our first urge should always be …to pray…