Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2023 Hebrews 6:19a.

Hebrews 6:19a.       Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,

And the days of this new year are moving swiftly by. Can you believe we’re already moving into the last full work week of January? Yuh better believe it! January will soon be over and we’ll be looking to Valentine’s Day, another big money spinner. But we’ll take it all in stride once we stay strong and steadfast in Christ and fellowship on the Sabbath, which is today. That means thanks, praise, worship and togetherness in the Lord’s sanctuary. Wow! That’s what the Lord’s Day is all about! 

And today we’ll open with an old but beautiful and favourite hymn, recorded by numerous artistes down through the years, aptly titled ‘Whispering Hope,’ written in 1868 by American musician and poet Septimus Winner (1827-1902). The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering – the ‘Whispering Hope’ for all Christians.’ So let’s lift our voice in sacrificial praise to heaven in a mid-tempo soulful, harmonious, heartfelt version of the song, letting them know that our souls are unwaveringly anchored in the biggest and best anchor, Jesus Christ. 

Singing: ‘Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] 

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) 

Now wasn’t that just beautiful friends! And I do hope that those encouraging words lifted our spirits, giving us confidence to face the upcoming work week, for that’s one of the purposes of our Sunday fellowship. Now it’s widely acknowledged that the basis for this song comes from Chapter 6 of Hebrews, where the author talks about God’s covenant with Abraham which involves salvation among other things, (Gal. 3:15-24) which he received after he patiently endured. (Heb. 6:13-16) 

However God had more security on His mind, as the author writes. ‘Wherein God, willing (determining) more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable (unchangeable) things in which it was impossible to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:17-20) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘God’s covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal. 3:15-25), is secure, being based upon two immutable things, that is. elements that cannot change. First, God’s promise is based on His own unchanging Word, He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17). Further, His word was confirmed by an oath. And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.’ 

Meanwhile, they further explain that in the last three verses ‘the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32).Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of the heaven. 

As our forerunner, Jesus is different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ Oh, I know that might sound somewhat confusing, but just take your time and read it. Now here is some other info on the song, in particular ‘As an anchor so steadfast.’ Now please don’t ask me where I got it from, because there’s no note to it. (smile) But it might just help us understand the anchor scene better. 

So please read with me: ‘It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Now that ought to clear up a few things. (smile) So let’s go home filled with heavenly hope that’s solidly, safely and securely anchored as it ought to in Christ our Lord and Saviour, our High Priest and forerunner or precursor in the heavens. Much LOVE!

…hope is what leads to faith…without hope, you can’t have faith… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2023 Psalm 139:17.

Psalm 139:17.       How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

And finally, we come to the first full work week of this new year. Isn’t that just grand? Many of us won’t think so, because we’ve had a few consecutively short work weeks in the recent past. And before that, it was already tough for us to handle the five-day variety, I just wonder what’s going to happen to us now, that we’re going back to the same old, same old. (smile) But I have faith in us, for our awesome God made us to be resilient to the max! 

How did Bruh David describe our exotic creation in Psalm 139? ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (very well). My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them, (the plans for my life were written before I was even made). How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:13-18) 

Now friends, that’s how important we are to our heavenly Father and Creator! He took His time and perfectly planned out our entire course before He even began to make us! That means we are very precious, special and important to our God. Why would He send His sinless Son Jesus Christ to die for us eh, if we weren’t important to Him eh? Jesus said: ‘For God so LOVED the world…’ (John 3:16) That’s why! 

And Bruh David also addressed the matter of our importance to God in Psalm 40, when he writes: ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order (counted) unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) It just goes to show that we were not simply an afterthought of God, but a greatly desired and well-planned creation. 

Thus, He’s so good, so merciful and gracious unto us. We’re made in His image, living through the breath of His life, and destined to be with Him till eternity! If that doesn’t shout importance, LOVE, and togetherness, then I don’t know what does! The problem though is that our minds are too puny and finite to understand God’s great LOVE for us. As Bruh Paul declares in his epistle to the church at Rome: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways are past finding out!’ (Rom. 11:33) 

That’s gospel truth my faithful brethren! And the prophet Isaiah said it long before Bruh Paul, when he wrote of our Creator: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) That’s putting it mildly my people!  

And the scholars explain: ‘God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e. purposes or intentions) and ways (directions) are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purpose.’ Simply stated: we can never fully understand or know our Creator! But that’s why He gave us those things called hope and faith, trust and surrender. So that despite our inability to fully know and understand His purposes and intentions, we can rest assured that His intentions to us are always for good. 

Like Jeremiah puts it: ‘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) Now seeing all the good that the Lord has done for us, in spite of our rebellion, disobedience and blasphemy against Him, why is it so difficult to believe that He truly cares for us and wants only our best eh? And why do we fight against this reassuring scripture eh? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) 

Our problem is that we are so selfish, greedy and entitled that we don’t want to have any unfortunate circumstances happen to us, we’re just interested in living for today. We don’t care about it all ending up right, we want it right, right now! But that’s not the way the world or our God operates. And if we don’t hurry up and get smart and accept those facts, then crapaud smoke we pipe! We’re going to pay an awfully high price for not believing and trusting Almighty God. 

But for those of us who have already woken up from our slumber, let’s go to our Creator through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, offering thanks and praise, then asking for forgiveness and help. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 

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!’ 

Now the ball is in our court; time to keep our promises and turn from our evil ways. Much LOVE!

…humans are the most important of God’s creations…His awesome LOVING-kindness to us…though undeserved…shows that in spades… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 December 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.        With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Oh friends, it’s Saturday; lazy day Saturday, Christmas Eve Saturday! Glory be! Wow! The day is at hand and so many expectations are floating around. Let’s hope the most important and prevalent one is that we remember Jesus, the reason for the season, in all of our festivities. For you know when the celebrations get somewhat noisy and boisterous, we are very liable to throw out the baby with the bathwater. (smile) But for this season, please, let’s keep Jesus first place, uppermost in our minds, as it’s supposed to be. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘I just want you to know that if you are out there and you are being really hard on yourself right now for something that has happened. it’s normal. That is what is going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We are all going to have a few scratches on us. Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth. We all will be hurt at some time or other, and make mistakes too, but that’s all a part of life. And sometimes we get down on ourselves for some of our mistakes and failures. But it’s not necessary to beat up ourselves about them. Oh, we must admit them and then go to God seeking grace, mercy and comfort. That’s the only sensible way to deal with our hurts. And sadly, many people, especially Christians tend to be too hard on themselves, erroneously thinking that browbeating oneself will make it right, or okay. 

But the only thing that will make anything right in this world is the LOVE and forgiveness of Almighty God! However, that doesn’t give us carte blanche, or a blank check, to do as we please, or let ourselves completely off the hook. That brings to mind Bruh Paul’s words to the Romans: ‘What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.’ (Rom. 6:15) No! We don’t take advantage of or abuse anybody or anything, including ourselves. 

And the next quote is also an interesting one. ‘Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in. When you are in your rocking chair talking to your grandchildren many years from now, be sure you have a good story to tell.’ There’s also a lot of truth in it. We all need to be courageous in this rough and tough evil world. Remember some of God’s first words to Joshua as the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses, were: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Now those are words of immortal wisdom and command! It’s essential that believers stand up strong and steadfast for what they believe in, i.e. ‘Jesus Christ! But it’s sad to say that too many of us supposed believers are not standing up for what we claim to believe in. We’re living in fear and doubt, or simply lethargy under the world’s dominating system. But that’s not good enough my people. Jesus expects us to stand up for Him and the beliefs we claim to have. And there is no better time to do so than this Christmas season when we celebrate His momentous birth! If we do that zealously, I can assure you that we’ll certainly have plenty of good stories to tell our grandchildren as we sit in our rockers. (smile) 

Then the next quote tells us: ‘At the end of the day, whether or not those people are comfortable with how you’re living your life doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re comfortable with it.’ And, to a certain extent, that’s quite true. You can’t overly concern yourself with what others think or say about you and your lifestyle, especially if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus. They will criticize you at every turn. 

But once you know you are doing the right thing, living the way Jesus expects to the best of your ability, then you don’t need to bother with ‘those people.’ Because ‘those people’ are usually just a bunch of hypocrites themselves; say one thing and do something completely different. Like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, who exhorted the Jews to live one way, but they themselves never lived the same lifestyle. 

Now here is possibly the most important quote of the day: ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! In fact, Christ expects us to be always learning and producing good fruit until the day we die! If we’re not being productive and mentally active then we die, both spiritually and physically. Just look at the number of people who work for so many years, then retire and do nothing. They eventually become vegetables and die much sooner than if they had kept active in some form and fashion. As the saying goes: ‘If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!’ 

And to back that up, listen to what Psalm 92 tells us. ‘The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree (date palm): he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon (big and strong). Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat (plump) and flourishing (green). To show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.’ (Ps. 92:12-15) Yes my brethren, the way to live to your fullest is to be always learning and doing something productive, regardless of your age or physical ability. We need to keep God’s greatest invention, the human brain, ever active while we’re alive. 

That brings us to this last quote, which, as true believers in Christ, we all know as certain fact and truth. ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ Yes, it does say so. But the reason why it’s really so, is because Almighty God is the sovereign ruler of this world. He’s omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, meaning that He’s all-powerful, can do anything; He sees everything, and is everywhere at once. 

And His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who’s birth we’re currently celebrating in this Christmas season, said it ever so plainly and truthfully when here on earth talking to His disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He said: ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

Now that’s one thing we should never forget my fellow saints: ALL things are possible with our great God! And it’s exactly one of those supposedly impossible situations that we’re celebrating right now: the incarnate birth of Christ, the birth of a baby, Jesus, from His virgin mother, Mary’s womb! How exciting, thrilling, stimulating, encouraging and reassuring my people, to know that God worked one of His many miracles, so that we could celebrate the Birth of his wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, tomorrow on Christmas Day! Much LOVE!

…it’s all about Jesus…yes…let’s sing it…it’s all about Jesus…nobody else but…JESUS… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 June 2022 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.       Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. 

And so Wednesday has opened bright and sunny, though somewhat cool, because it’s still officially spring. The problem though is will it stay bright and sunshiny all day long? Unfortunately, these days of climate change have the days being very contrary, beginning one way, then changing to something else, sometimes even changing back and forth within the same day. So, you can never trust what you see when you open your eyes on a morning to be the same throughout the day. But praise the Lord that our great God is an unchanging God! 

Yes friends, that’s one thing we’re very sure of! How do we know that? Because it says so in His Word, very often too. And His Word does not lie! Of course not! As explained in this scripture from the Book of Numbers. ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.’ (Num. 23:19-20) And that from the false prophet Balaam, whom Balak, the king of Moab, had hired to curse the Israelites. 

So, let’s look at a few of the scriptures that talk about the unchanging nature of our God nuh. As one commentator says: ‘God does not change. Why would He? God is perfect in all His ways. You can’t get better than perfect! God’s laws don’t change, they are written in stone for a distinct purpose.’ And that’s so His people can have a strong and steadfast way of life, not one like the weather we’re currently having; wishy-washy, and constantly changing. 

As James, Jesus’ brother writes: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) And that’s the gospel truth! One translation puts it thus. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.’ 

And per the Immutability of God, the scholars say: ‘Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will, and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however, does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create, and make decision. Application: God is unchanging; therefore Christians can depend on His LOVE and power because God has not changed since biblical times. (First Ref. Ps. 9:7; Primary ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2.)’ 

Yes my brethren, the Lord’s our Creator, thus He is much more stable than we could ever be. And as Bruh David declares in Psalm 9: ‘But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgement. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgement to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, and a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps. 9:7-10) Now, if our God can be all those things for those who seek Him, then He must be strong, stable, steadfast and just! 

And I like this verse about God’s unchanging nature from the book of Malachi, when he talks about the nonpayment of tithes. He solemnly declares: ‘For I am the Lord, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ (Mal. 3:6) And nothing has really changed since then, for many of today’s churchgoers are doing the same thing; not giving their tithes to God. We give money to all sorts of other worthless and fraudulent causes without a murmur, but to give a penny to God’s church it’s like pulling teeth without anesthetic. 

As the scholars explain. ‘These Israelites have done what no man should presume to attempt, namely, to defraud God in tithes and offerings. The payment of tithes and heave offerings was a recognition of their subjection to God and that He owned them and all that they had. To withhold the tithe is to renounce the sovereign authority of God and to be guilty of the same sin as Lucifer in the beginning.’ And there’s no doubt that our current society has renounced the sovereignty of God over it, and thus are guilty of the same sin that Lucifer (Satan) was kicked out of heaven for; abominable pride which led to foolish rebellion! 

But I’m getting off course here, (smile) so let’s move on to the next scripture on God’s unchanging nature, which comes from the book of Hebrews. And it simply but quite clearly and confidently states: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb. 13:8) And if all it says about Jesus in the Good Book is true, then He must be a stalwart, unbreakable, unchanging foundation for us to build on. 

That’s why Jesus characterized Himself as the rock to build on when he told the people. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) Oh my fellow saints, when we build our houses on the rock, the foundation that’s Jesus, nothing in this whole wide world can ever beat or break it down, for Jesus is the solid, rock-like foundation of the world! Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise! 

And then there’s this marvellous scripture, the last one, we have time and space for. It comes from Psalm 102 – A cry in distress – and it declares: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and the years shall have no end.’ (Ps: 102:25-27) Now that’s the indisputable truth: the world will grow old and change, even be destroyed, but our God will last forever, because that’s his name and nature… an Everlasting God! 

And for those of us who sincerely believe and are doing our best to live for Him, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life 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 a last word of encouragement and reassurance, (smile) please remember that if we endure to the very end, then that future will indeed be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there is only one road to glory…that’s through Jesus… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ 

Friday, oh Friday! Is about time yuh reach here yes! Even if you are the supposed bad mind, evil, Friday the thirteenth, ah still glad yuh finally reach, because ah tired. This work scene killing me! Is over a year now I didn’t have to come down in this ugly city five days a week to do this frustrating work. But then a couple weeks ago, mih boss call and said is time to come back down here. Oh mih child, you wouldn’t know how that long drive, twice a day in jam up traffic, wreaking havoc on mih nerves and mih life in general nuh. 

It took me ten years to get accustomed to driving downtown in the traffic every single day. But then it only took me a li’l more than a year to unlearn it. And you can imagine how bad it going to be when we come out of all the covid restrictions, and the traffic really start to hit it the road? It going to be real awful. 

And to make matters worse, when I tell mih boss about how the downtown drive nerve wracking, yuh know what this boldfaced man look me in mih eye and tell me point blank. ‘I’m sorry my dear, if you can’t do the drive, then get a house closer to your work. And have no fear, if you don’t want the job, I have plenty others who are willing to take it for less pay!’ But imagine my crosses nuh! After I done slave for this imbecile man for so long, he have the nerve and bad manners to tell me such a thing!’ 

Yes friends, that’s life! As the old people would say, if life doesn’t get you one way, it will get you another. And that’s the gospel truth! This woman apparently didn’t get sick and had it fairly easy during the big covid lockdown, possibly working from home, so she got quite used to the situation. But then, when life struck, as it takes pleasure in doing, and she had to go back out to work, it was a horse of a different colour. Life does us that all the time friends: set you up one way, only to drag you down in another. 

And it is our responsibility, ofttimes a difficult one, to not allow it to take us to the cleaners. It means we need to find a constant in our lives; something or someone that that doesn’t play terrible games like life does. And believe me people, the ONE and ONLY constant, unchangeable force in this world is the Lord God Almighty; He of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac! Yes friends, wisdom dictates that we tie ourselves, bind ourselves securely to the ONE and ONLY Living God, through His mighty Son, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Lord and Saviour of this lost, sinful and evil world! 

And why is that you ask? Simple! Because He is the ONLY thing or person in this universe that does not change, and He is also trustworthy, therefore He can be depended on to look after our affairs in accordance with His will. And I know you don’t like that last part about accordance with His will, but we need to remember that Jehovah God is the Creator and Ruler of this universe; in other words, He is the BOSS, and like in the story above, what the Boss says, goes. (smile) 

So, now that we have established that most important fact, that God runs things His way, (smile) let’s look at the immutability, the unchanging character of God, and see how it can greatly benefit us. Here are some scriptures from the Good Book, the Lord’s Holy Word, which let us know in no uncertain terms of His forever constant nature. The writer of Hebrews puts it very simply and clearly when He talks of ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb. 13:8) 

But if that’s too simple for you, because mankind tends to think that only complicated things are worthwhile, then let’s consider the more complicated terms of Psalm 102. The psalmist confidently declares: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yes, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.’ (Ps. 102:25-27) 

Now does that impact you more forcefully? I certainly hope so, because if you do not engage the Lord God Jehovah, through Jesus Christ, as your stronghold and salvation, then you are in for a very rough ride in this life and then eternal separation from the Creator at the end time. But here are some marvellous verses of scripture that you ought to seriously consider. It comes from the prophet Isaiah. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.’ (Is. 40:28-31) 

Now that ought to capture you attention! (smile) But seriously friends, not only does the Lord not change, but He also gives power and strength to the weak and weary. And if you’re still not sure, then listen to this wonderful invitation from Jesus nuh. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) Now which other supposed god or idol offers that kind of invitation eh? None whatsoever. And even if they did, they could not fulfill it, because it’s only the Living God who has the power to do it! 

And there are many other scriptures we can quote about God’s unchangeability, strength and magnanimous character, but time and space prevent us. So, we hope that what we’ve said will hit home to you, and help you to draw closer to Christ, because that’s where your bread is truly buttered. Now, let’s take our problems to God in prayer, another wonderful facet of being under His everlasting yoke of comfort, safety and rest. 

As one strong and sincere voice, let’s declare our Friday Chant. ‘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 my brethren, let’s remember, that God’s answer totally depends on the example we set…that is of faithful believers. Much LOVE!

…if you are living under Christ’s all-embracing yoke…you don’t have to worry about a thing…just do as He says…and all will be right with your world…                                                                                                                    

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2021 Isaiah 43:19a.

Isaiah 43:19a.     Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?

So now it’s Wednesday, another beautiful day in the life! Thank the Lord for His goodness to the children of men! Especially when it comes to His wonderful Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the most beautiful, powerful and LOVING gift ever bestowed in this universe! And the saints of Christ, all lifted their heads, hearts and voices and sincerely declared: ‘Jesus! Jesus! The light of my life, my salvation and my glory! Thank You heavenly Father for giving Him to us. We LOVE You dearly, and we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, what a momentous and joyful experience it is when Jesus comes into our lives! There’s nothing in the world to compare to or outclass it! You just simply feel a different vibe in your spirit, body and soul. Nothing like you’ve ever felt before. And you’re just astonished that such a remarkable transformation is possible, and wonder why you never experienced it before. But that’s just part of Jesus’ mystique; nothing happens before it’s time, before He is ready to come into your life. And it’s nothing to be afraid of; for He’s never late or early, always right on time with His well-drawn up and executed plans for each of his creations. 

As the Father said so long ago, through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts 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) That’s a very pertinent scripture in the lives of all believers my people. It means that whenever you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that is the exact right time, the time that He had planned from eons ago to come into your life. There’s nothing vikey-vie or wishy-washy in God’s economy. It’s all well laid out and executed. Every possibility and consequence have already been considered and plans made to countervail them. 

The prophet Isaiah declared it thus: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ (Is. 43:18-19) Yes friends, when Jesus comes into our lives, it’s a whole new story, a rebirth! To all intents and purposes, we are born again, like He said to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily (truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked surprised and asked: ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily (truly), I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirt is spirit.’ (John 3:4-6) Yes my people, the rebirth we are talking about here is one of the spirit, one of life-changing attitudes, opinions and behaviour. 

And here’s how Bruh Paul explains this rebirth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) And it’s of the utmost important that we understand the meaning of those words. Basically, it means that we give up the old lifestyle we lived and adopt a new one where Jesus, through His Holy Spirit that comes to indwell in when we receive Him, is our guide and leader. We now consider His ways and means as the guiding light of our lives. 

Sin, or the rejection of it, now becomes of much more importance. We no longer live after the flesh, or as the world dictates, because then we are merely IN the world, but not OF the world! We take our direction, our orders from Jesus and the things He desires, not from what the world says. We now live life in the Spirit, not in the carnal and sinful desires of the flesh. As Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom. 8:1-2) 

Yes friends, when we come to Christ, the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives guides us in a new direction, to obedience and good works in Christ, not back to the old, carnal lusts and desires we once had. Oh precious people, receiving Christ brings us into a whole new ball game. Here is how Bruh Paul describes it to the Ephesians. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) 

And the scholars offer these explanations re those verses. ‘4:22-24. Christianity taught the addressees to (1) put off…the old man, to renounce their pre-conversion life and sins; (2) be renewed in…your mind, to be constantly changed, being brought more and more into line with God’s own viewpoint; and (3) put on the new man, that is, to assume a new nature (character) and conduct (life) at conversion.’ And yes, we all discover that changing our lifestyle in mid-stream is not an easy, or always a delightful task. But as true believers in Christ, it is absolutely necessary that we give it our all! And never fear, for Jesus is always there to help us! 

Now, here are a few practical pointers that Bruh Paul gave to the Ephesians, which are still helpful to us today in this topsy-turvy, deceitful, evil and godless world. They run from 4:25 -32, 5:1-2, you can read them at your own leisure, (smile) but to save time and space, I’ll just list them as the scholars’ explanations. ‘4:22-5:2. …practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (vs. 22) can be laid aside and how the “new man” (vs. 24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (vs. 25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the Devil may not be given opportunity (vs. 26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others (vs. 28). (4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others and not grieve the Spirit (vs. 29). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vs. 31-32).’ 

That’s it in a nutshell friends! Nothing exotic, but very practical guidelines that we can all implement as we walk in LOVE, as Christ desires of us. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our wonderful position on Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life 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 believe me, if we walk that narrow path right to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to walk in step with Jesus…oh…what a joy divine…                                                                                

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2021 Psalm 139:14a.

Psalm 139:14a.     ​I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:

Saturday, Saturday! Thank God that lazy day called Saturday is here! Yes friends, Saturday has arrived…and we’re happy, despite the tighter lockdown restrictions we were handed in our province of Ontario yesterday. Ah Lord eh! When will it all end? The vaccines don’t seem to me making much of a difference, because every day we’re hitting record highs in new cases of the covid virus, be they the regular one or the variants. And no one seems to understand why this is happening. So, the only recourse is to lock down tighter. 

But again, that will only work if people responsibly adhere to the rules, which they have not been doing in the past, and why the virus has been proliferating for so long, until it had a chance to rework itself and become even more dangerous. But friends, the one constant in it all is the amazing presence of Christ Jesus in our lives! That has not changed, so as the song says, let’s keep Jesus shining through us, and together with Him, we’ll shine over the whole world, and let His glory fill the land. 

And since it’s Saturday, we need to check out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Now they all seem to be centred around personal image and improvement, so obviously they will have some overlap. And the first one says: ‘Be yourself. An original is so much better than a copy.’ And is that ever the awesome truth! Have you ever noticed when you make a copy of something, it’s never as good as the original? 

Well that also applies to our lives. We come off much better when we let our real selves show and not try to be a copy of someone else. And that’s all the Lord is asking of us – to be who He created us to be, not try to be someone else. That’s why He made each of as a unique specimen and not copies or clones. As Bruh David says in Psalm 139: ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’ (Ps. 139:14) 

Consequently, this next quote speaks very well to the first. ‘Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.’ Truer words were never spoken my people! We must be true to what God made us, and whatever we do, make sure we put our very heart and soul in it, because our heavenly Father always expects the best of us. And if we find that we can’t put our hearts sincerely in something, then we should not get involved in it. As Bruh Paul told the church at Colossae, re Christian virtues and advice for domestic life. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) 

And the scholars offer this explanation on that verse. ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), (where he admonishes them to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with grace in their hearts to the Lord), but it is also to control all areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

And later on, Bruh Paul advises the slaves and servants thus: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col. 3:23-24) Yes friends, even slaves and servants were to perform their menial tasks wholeheartedly, doing their best, because they were not doing it so much for their earthly master but for the heavenly One, who promised them the reward of salvation in their Christian faith. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you’re searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror.’ Now that’s something we should do everyday friends. Take a good look in the mirror and try to discern who or whom we really are! Everything in our lives begins and ends with us. We can’t expect others to improve our lives if we don’t first put in the effort and energy to do it. As the old saying goes; no one can make you happy but yourself. 

Just look at all the toys and conveniences we have in today’s modern world, but so many of us are still bored and miserable. That’s partly because we are expecting, looking for other things and people to make and/or keep us happy. But if we can’t first find happiness within ourselves, then we’ll never find it anywhere else. 

And the next quote fits nicely into the framework. ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.’ That should be obvious my brethren. We can’t give away something we don’t have, be it money, time, talent or LOVE! That means we first have look after ourselves, to grow in us, or our lives, whatever it is we want to share with others. So if it’s money; then we have to work to get some. With time, we must arrange our schedule so that we have some to spare. And for talent, we have to learn, or improve ourselves in whatever area we desire to help others. 

But you know the amazing thing about wanting to share LOVE: you need to do all of the above, especially spending time with the Master of LOVE, Jesus, and learning from Him and His word! Oh glory be mih people! As Jesus says, the two most important things in this world are to LOVE God with everything you have, and to LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) And as we were just saying, if you don’t have LOVE for yourself, how can you give it to anybody else? But Jesus can teach us! 

And the last quote tells us: ‘Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you.’ Now that’s the gospel truth friends! Far too many of us are ashamed of ourselves for stupid, worldly reasons! God might be disappointed in us, but He’s never ashamed of us. So why do we allow mortal men like ourselves, to make us feel ashamed eh? Granted, some of us may be down on our luck, for whatever reason, but that’s no reason to be ashamed. Remember what Bruh David said; we’re ALL fearfully and wonderfully made, unique creatures of God’s sophisticated engineering, so there’s no need to be ashamed. 

We can always turn to God for His faithful help. Just look at Bruh Paul’s life, how he turned from destroying believers to lifting them up, with Christ’s help obviously, to the point where he could boast. ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom. 1:16) 

And what better scripture to close with than this one from Christ Himself. ‘For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:26). Yes friends, Jesus, as always, puts it in plain language. If we refuse to stand up for Him now, then, when He comes in all His glory, He won’t bother with us either. That just seems fair, doesn’t it?Much LOVE!

…human beings are God’s greatest creation…let’s truly reflect it in our earthly lives nuh…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     ​Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Ah mih people, the days just keep rolling along, from one to the other, without any apparent recognition of mankind’s many problems. Some things change, while others remain the same, but throughout it all, we still need to deal with all sorts of controversial situations and upheavals, not knowing what will happen from one day to the next. But those ole days don’t seem to care at all, they just keep doing their thing; running changelessly into each other, detailing weeks, months, seasons, years, and even centuries. 

But fortunately for us, there’s been ONE Being, that’s remained constant over the many topsy-turvy days of mankind, that’s our Creator: Almighty God. Yes friends, He’s been there from the very beginning…and wonder of wonders, He’ll be there right to the very end! And why is that eh? Because as He says in His word, He is unchangeable, immovable, immutable, irreplaceable, the ONLY Living God! So let’s hear some scripture that will remind us of our God’s omnipotence, omniscience, omni-presence, steadfastness, unchangeability and immutability. 

And we’ll begin with His message to Cyrus the pagan king, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:5-7) And yes, the Lord does create physical evil or calamity, not moral evil or sin. And yes, the Lord did use pagan kings, like Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar as conduits to fulfill His eventual will. 

Moving on, we come to Malachi, where through that prophet, the Lord confronts His people Israel about turning away from Him and their lack paying tithes. He says: ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?’ (Mal. 3:6-8) 

Oh friends, that’s the exact thing the Lord is saying to us today, and the very same answer we are giving Him. We have turned away from Him, and instead of returning to Him like He desires, we are trying to turf Him and His ordinances out of our society. So what can we expect but calamity eh? 

Now listen to the author of Hebrews, as he talks of service well pleasing to God. ‘Remember them which have the rule over you (who lead you), who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end (outcome) of their conversation (conduct). Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers (various) and strange doctrines (teachings). For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats (foods), which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.’ (Heb. 13:7-9) 

But do you think we have followed, or are following that directive? Oh no sir! Instead, we are being led away by a whole set of strange teachings and proceedings that don’t profit those who practice them. Steups! How sad it is my people! And then we wonder why our world is in such a mess. 

So, let’s now consider James words on the subject. ‘Do not err (be deceived) my brethren. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variations, unexpected, unforeseen changes), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:16-18) 

Oh my people, our God created everything that exists, and mankind as the jewel of His creations, that’s why He so desires to redeem us all, and not lose any to the enemy. And he gave us His holy word that we should walk in it. But being the disobedient, stubborn, hard-headed creatures we are, we have refused to do so, with disastrous consequences to our ungodly actions. 

Now here is the last scripture from John the Revelator, from the mouth of Jesus Himself. ‘And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’ (Rev. 22:12-13) All I can now say friends is that wisdom dictates that we return to the waiting arms of our Creator. And if you agree, then please join me in offering up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in heartfelt prayer. 

As one sincere and humble voice now: ‘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 many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

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!’ 

Now let us go and keep our solemn vows to our wonderful, forgiving and LOVING God! Much LOVE!

…God is the ONLY thing in this universe that has NOT changed…and will NEVER change…whether you believe it or not is immaterial… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2021 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.     Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

And then, rather quickly, it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the work week, and our lives are still somewhat confused by the pandemic and racial unrest. However, despite how things may appear, regardless of all the worries and pain, if you believe that your life is in Almighty God’s hands, then those problems will become very surmountable! Yes friends, once you are in God’s hands, problems never seem as worrisome and problematic! 

Oh, you will still have them, because that’s just a part of life on this planet, but once you’re walking with Him, once you are a follower of His wonderful Son, our Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, He’s always there to help and comfort you through His Holy Spirit that indwells all His followers! 

Wow! What awesome comfort and assurance! No other Deity can provide such emotional relief and trust, because no other Deity is alive and well and powerful like the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But the important thing is that we have to embrace all the promises and benefits that the Lord has provided. They don’t come to us automatically. We have to make the decision to come to Christ and accept that He is Lord and Saviour. 

And today, what we’re going to look at is the first act in that action. (smile) It’s called prayer, or talking to God in reverential awe; humbly, but with confidence, as Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) 

Now, prayer is not only asking God for stuff we want, or think we need, it goes much deeper than that. It is in essence a communing of our spirit with that of the Father, who originally breathed His Spirit in us to give us life. And when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us to lead and guide us and to help us commune with the Almighty. Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is also to help us in prayer. 

Bruh Paul puts it like this to the church at Rome. ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts (God) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’ (Rom. 8:26-27) 

Yes precious people, the Holy Spirit interprets our innermost feelings that we cannot put into words and aligns them with God’s will. For remember, before the Lord grants our requests, He looks at the motives of our hearts, to see if they’re selfish, greedy and outside of His will. 

But getting back to actual prayer. Let’s look at how Bruh Paul prayed for others. It’s strange, but he didn’t usually pray for people’s troubles to go away and that sort of thing, he mostly prayed that they would have inner growth, and thus be able to handle the problems from a point of greater maturity. Here’s how he prayed for the Ephesians, the church at Ephesus. 

‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (derived). That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:14-19) 

Oh, I know that it seems like a long and complicated prayer, but in essence it’s fairly simple. Here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his spirit (vs.16), that is, they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ , that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Oh my people, doesn’t that sound like a complete prayer? It surely does! When we are strengthened by the Spirit, then we can understand Christ’s LOVE, then live the way He desires us to live, through strong and mature faith, ‘rooted and grounded in LOVE.’ And there’s no other way to live the Christian life my friends. 

But Bruh Paul wasn’t done with his prayer. He continues: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) And the scholars tell us: ‘3:20. In making the three above petitions (vs. 16-19) Paul has not asked for too much. For he prays unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, that means He can do all things, knows all things and is everywhere at the same time! And that’s why He is GOD! So let’s try to adopt some of those prayer principles that Bruh Paul established nuh. Let’s not just pray for troubles to be over, or success to be gained, but for us to receive what we need to grow and mature in the faith, have our inner man strengthened. We will all end up better off and living a more complete Christian life. 

And now, since it’s Thursday, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has magnanimously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, it’s time for us to now share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…Christ came as a servant…and He expects the same of His followers… 

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