Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything 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. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit 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 come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please 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!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2015 1 John 4:18

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!

Well my brethren, our little summer fling is over! Chuh! And I was just beginning to enjoy it; going out the street in shirtsleeves, sitting out on my porch in the early morning hours, quietly communing with my heavenly Father and releasing all the day’s anxieties and stress. 

Yes, Friends, this past week where we experienced temps in the mid to high teens all week was certainly a wonderful blessing. Glory to God! But it’s all over now, we’re reverting back to normal temps like ten and lower. Anyway, as long as that cold, white stuff is not flying around, I am happy.

 Once it starts making a mess on the roads, then I get miserable. I don’t even mind if it’s packed up on the banks and shoulders of the road, but not on the road itself which makes driving even more treacherous than it already is, with so many cars and bad drivers out there nowadays. Sometimes it can be really fearful to drive on the dry roads, much less the snow filled ones. 

However, since you all are such wonderful patrons, and I’m in such a generous frame of mind, (smile) I will offer two of our Friend Anselm’s quotes from this past week, which speak rather appropriately to our topic. 

The first one says: ‘If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’ And that’s very true. The only way to conquer fear is to rise up over it; to do the thing(s) of which you are afraid, with God’s faith and trust in your heart, standing on His promise that He won’t let us go through more than we can handle. 

And the second quote declares that ‘Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.’ And that’s no lie either my people! I am sure all of us have come upon situations at some stage of our lives where we thought we did not have the wherewithal to handle them, but once we decided to step out in faith, we realized that we actually had the parts to deal with the situations. 

Sometimes we need God to pour down some extra courage on us, but at other times we discover that what we already have is quite sufficient. And once we consider the assuring words Bruh Paul spoke to young Timothy, our fears should subside. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.7) 

So technically speaking, we’re not suppose be afraid of anything. But we all know that is easier said than done. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: just do it afraid. (smile) But she does have a point, we can’t allow fear to ruin our lives. And the only way to conquer fear is rearing up over it with faith! 

And our Bit today hits the nail right on the head of the subject. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!’ What a powerful verse of scripture my fellow believers! 

Now here is how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk-in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17) 

Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement. (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be flippant and casual.’ 

Of course not! Our attitude towards our heavenly Father should be one of reverence, respect, awe and joy that we have such a wonderful God! 

Now, since I know that very few of us will bother to check the scriptures noted in the scholars explanations, I will quote a few of them for our benefit. Aren’t I nice? (smile) We will begin with Acts 13:26, where Paul and Barnabas are talking to the people of Antioch. 

Bruh Paul says to them: ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts 13:26) 

And in 2 Corinthians, Bruh Paul opens Chapter 7 thus: ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ (2 Cor.7:1) 

And to the Ephesians, Bruh Paul writes: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:20-21) 

Oh Friends, you see it’s all about the reverential awe of God, about putting Him first in our lives, not being afraid to talk to Him. We have that right to confidently approach Him on the basis of Jesus’ work at the cross. That work reconciled us to Him, and we are once more His beloved children. So there is absolutely nothing to fear if we are children of the Most High God! 

As John states after our Bit: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1John 4:19-21) 

There we have it Friends; a sermon… sorry, (smile) a teaching on fear, LOVE and reverence. Please, let’s carve it into the depths of our souls, so that we can always have it for our timely reference. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for fear…is faith…backed by the unconditional LOVE of Almighty God…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2015 Psalm 3:4

Psalm 3:4.   I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.   Selah.

Oh Friends, yesterday was indeed a rough day! I haven’t had one like that for a long while, and in truth, I don’t want to have another one for an even longer while! (smile) I guess though, that I was due for one of those rough and miserable days.

But the reality Friends, is that today is Tuesday; a brand new day, and I’m certainly looking forward to the brand new mercies and new blessings which the Lord prepares for us every day!

I’m still tired and a tad woozy (smile) but I am feeling better, although I could not get up to write an early Bit. However, I am waiting with hungry hope and expectant faith for all the good things that the Lord has in store for me today, and I would strongly advise that you do the same thing too.

And believe me, that first cup of java, tinged with some cough syrup, is certainly going down warm and soothing on the chest! (smile) Let the naysayers say what they want, but you can’t beat a hot cup of coffee on any morning, especially a cold one, and it is cold an snowy by me.

But enough of my woes, you have your own to contend with, and the only thing that’s going to help either of us, is reaching out to our Creator, our Healer, our Heavenly Father and generous Provider; the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

So let’s do that nuh. Please pray with me. ‘Heavenly Father, our be all and end all, Your grateful children come to you this morning bearing heavy burdens that we cannot carry. We sincerely ask for Your help, either for strength to bear them, or for Your LOVING-kindness to lessen and lighten our load.

We’re doing our best, but You know we can’t do much in our own strength, that’s why we’re looking to You this morning for grace, mercy and succour in our time of need.

We LOVE and adore You, and give You thanks and praise in our own simple way, and ask that You lead and guide us safely and wisely on this blessed day, as we make our way through this fallen world, trying to do Your holy will.

This we pray, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose precious blood that was shed at Calvary, enables us to confidently come to You with our petitions. Thank You father. Amen.’

And you know what my people? If you sincerely prayed that prayer, I truly believe that our gracious Father in heaven heard it, and is right now getting ready to act on it on all our behalves! So let’s all look forward to a brighter day! Glory to God for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!

And rather appropriately, here is my friend Anselm’s quote from yesterday that inspires for a better tomorrow. ‘An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of a superior personality.’

And that’s no lie, my brethren, for all successful achievers have a positive attitude and outlook on life! Our Bit today is also rather appropriate. It comes from Psalm 3, Bruh David’s prayer of confidence in God. ‘I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.   Selah.’

And that’s exactly what we did earlier on my people; we cried out to our ever-generous God for help and succour in these very trying and needful times.

We have that option because we are believers in Jesus Christ, which has made us new creations, with the freedom to approach God’s holy throne of grace, since we are now reconciled to Him once more. We are now His saved children, joint heirs with Christ in the kingdom.

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise to the Lamb that was slain for us, so that we could get back into the Father’s good graces!’

By the way, the second cup of caffeine is going down just as good as the first! (smile)

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that reinforce our Bit. And we’ll begin with the verses right after it. ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:5-6)

Oh Friends, I do hope that we can all say those things in sincerity, because until we can, we will always be fearful and anxious about our lives.

And from way back when, comes this warning of the prophet Azariah. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:1-2)

Now my brethren, the matter couldn’t be stated any simpler or more straightforward than that! It’s up to us to look for God.

And we’ll end with these famous words of Christ that convey the same basic message. ‘And I say unto you, 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.’ (Luke 11:9-10)

Yes Friends, it’s time we start seeking, asking, and knocking, if we want to enjoy God’s goodness! That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to be successful…one must seek the Giver of success…Almighty God… 

P.S. Please be forewarned that tomorrow’s Bit may be even later than today’s because I have some stuff to do out of town that will push my whole schedule back. But please wait with baited breath, because it will be good – as always. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

Well a good Wednesday morning to all you wonderful Friends and neighbours in the ever growing Scrip-Bit family! Blessings and mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness from our heavenly Father to all those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk obedient to His commands.
 
And all God’s people said: ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes Friends, much praise is due to our most wonderful God, who daily meets all our needs on this troubled earth. We can NEVER thank Him enough for what He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t shower or heap as much praise and thanks on Him as we can.
 
Unfortunately though, too many of us supposed believers don’t seem to have that serious attitude of offering thanks. Or as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20)
 
We seem to think that thanks is only due when we receive something, and something good at that. And even then, some of us offer it grudgingly, more as a responsibility to be carried out, than a true feeling of gratitude from the heart. And that is oh so wrong, my brethren. But I figure that that attitude derives, comes from a less than stellar longing for God.
 
How many of us, as we should in these evil and troubled times, truly have an intense longing for God as our Bit so famously states? ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’  
 
Now a lot of us will say we do, but it’s definitely not evident in our words or actions. To too many of us my brethren, God is some ephemeral Being somewhere outside of our everyday existence, like far away in heaven. Our lives don’t give the impression of the Holy Spirit living in us, of Jesus being constantly involved in even our simplest decisions.
 
And therefore, as we were recently saying, our souls and our lives lack passion, lack enthusiasm for Jesus and the things of God, while the unimportant things of the world stoke our fires and hold our attention. But how can we be enthusiastic about a Spirit Being that we consider outside of our normal everyday lives eh, while we constantly encounter the physical things of the world that turn us on?
 
However Friends, when we’re really and truly into God, when He’s a real presence in our everyday lives, then we become passionate and enthusiastic about serving Him, and the tenor of our days take on a whole different meaning and feeling. And we can say like the psalmist: ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:2)
 
And when times are tough, and our enemies seem to be gaining the upper hand, then we can continue to pray and reminisce: ‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
 
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast). Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5)
 
Yes Friends, even in our lowest moments, it is essential to still have hope in Almighty God and praise Him for His continual presence with us. Remember He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb.13:5) And Psalm 42, a contemplation for the sons of Korah, is not the only psalm that highlights that intense longing, that driving thirst for God.
 
Listen to what Bruh David wrote in Psalm 63, when he was in the wilderness of Judah running from his enemies. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (so I have looked for thee).
 
Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:’ (Ps.63:1-5)
 
Oh my brethren, our great and faithful God does satisfy the soul that thirsts for Him! And when we feel that satisfaction… oh, it just drives us to praise Him, regardless of the physical circumstances!
 
And our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it best in His famous Sermon on the Mount through the Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) It couldn’t get any simpler or more straightforward than that my fellow believers.
 
So today I want us to ponder, seriously consider the state of our souls, whether we’re truly longing for Jesus, or simply going through the motions. Sadly, the latter option is being embraced by too many of us. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is not much further along; for a revolution, whatever kind it might be, cannot succeed without enthusiastic, energetic, passionate followers intensely longing for change.
 
Please Friends, if we truly believe in Jesus, let’s try and adopt, embrace and live out that revolutionary attitude nuh. It’s the ONLY WAY we’ll ever proselytize the world! Much LOVE!
 
…a life lived without passion…especially if one claims to believe in Jesus…is essentially a wasted life…please, let’s not waste ours…