Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well friends, cloudy days are here again, but the hearts of all believers are shining brightly with the brilliant light of the Son! Glory to God! 

Yes my believing brethren, the outside weather might be dark and dreary, but there’s absolutely no reason for our hearts to look the same since we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent triumvirate God living within us, leading and guiding us to victory in Jesus! 

Wow! What a blessed honour that is my people! That’s why on this cloudy Monday morning, at least in my area, we need to get ourselves together and get out strong and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

And since Mondays are not kind to many of us (smile) let’s belt out our antidote for those Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. With one heart and voice 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 have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh I know friends, the adrenaline is just running through us now, and we’re rearing to go out and optimize our efforts in this evil and ungodly world and right whatever wrongs we can, all in the name of Jesus our Lord and Blessed Saviour! 

And so we should, on the basis of all that He has done for us; selflessly bringing us salvation and eternal life through His woeful death on the cross at Calvary and then His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, probably the last day for this one, (smile) who know eh? ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ Meaningful direction from Jesus on how we should pray. 

Now yesterday we saw how He prayed sincerely to His heavenly Father for us, and it really touched my heart. Today we’ll look at why He had to pray for us, and why we still need lots of prayer. 

Listen to James. ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:13) Words of absolute truth friends! 

God doesn’t tempt us, for He doesn’t want us to do wrong. But He might allow some stuff to come against us to try our faithfulness. So why then do we fall victim to temptation eh? 

James further enlightens us. ‘But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (fleshly desires), and enticed.’ (James 1:14) Yeh mih people, it’s our sinful nature that propels us to temptation. 

And what happens when we give into temptation? Hear James again. ‘Then when the lust (fleshly desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) 

Oh friends, here we need to remember those immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is everlasting life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes precious people of God, as the scholars tell us: ‘6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ 

However, we can only receive that unmerited free gift by believing on God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So it’s a decision each human being needs to make. Succumb to temptation and thus death; eternal separation from Almighty God, or accept Jesus and live forever with Him in heavenly places. 

And that’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, since eternal separation from God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being. 

Now let’s close with an interesting statement from Peter. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9) 

Ah mih people, hopefully that statement reverberates in our hearts today and helps to keep us away from temptation. Much LOVE!

…temptation always seems so enticing…but in reality…it holds a deathly viper’s sting…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Ah friends, it’s another glorious Sunday morning and we’re gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship, glorify and exalt Him, as well as receive His awesome grace and mercy, strength and guidance for the new week that’s upcoming. 

And as always, let’s open with a song of wonderful praise; ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’ This is one of my favourite hymns, and it brings back fond memories of a boy growing up in Tobago and St.Andrew’s church in Scarborough during the Easter season, packed to capacity on a Sunday morning, full of young people, all raising their voices in praise. 

So let’s raise our own voices in sacrificial praise now my people, let the heavens reverberate with the powerful and sincere sound of our voices, singing these inspirational words penned by Isaac Watts many moons ago, which Charles Wesley, another prominent hymn writer, reputedly said he would have given up all his songs, to be able to say he wrote this one. 

‘When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! 

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and LOVE flow mingled down! Did e’er such LOVE and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? 

His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; LOVE so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. 

[Added by the compilers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern] To Christ, who won for sinners grace By bitter grief and anguish sore, Be praise from all the ransomed race. Forever and forevermore.’ 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent pouring out of praise in words that just touch the heart and truthfully reflect the awesome and sacrificial deed that Jesus so selflessly suffered on our behalf! 

Without His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, we’d all still be worthless sinners pegged for hell with the evil one Lucifer. But through Jesus’ superhuman efforts we now are bound for glory instead through salvation and eternal life! Oh Glory be my brethren! 

Ah friends, as Christians we should be happy like pigs in mud! (smile) And when we check out our Bit, those immortal words of Jesus in His blueprint for prayer, we should get even more joyful – if that’s possible (smile), because it assures us that we have a heavenly Father who is constantly watching over and guiding us, to whom we can turn to for comfort and succour in ALL situations! 

Wow! How could we not LOVE Jesus eh, after all He’s done for us? And if you don’t believe me, then please listen to how Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father on our behalf before He underwent His own tough times. 

‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world; and I come to thee Holy Father, keep them through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (destruction); (Judas), that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart for your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth. And as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. 

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast LOVED them, as thou hast LOVED me. 

Father, I will (desire) that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou LOVEDST me before the foundation of the world. 

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED me may be in them, and I in them.’ 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome prayer! I never intended to print it all, but once I got started I just could not stop. I doubt that anyone else has ever prayed so sincerely and fervently for any of us. Jesus even prayed for those that would come after Him, meaning the Gentiles, people like us. 

And I have to confess, that though I’ve read those words before, they’ve never meant so much, or made such a difference before. I truly appreciate them now, and so I hope do you my fellow believers. It just goes to show the truth in the saying, the more we read the Word, the more our eyes are opened. Much LOVE!

…Jesus didn’t only die for us…He also prayed for us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Saturday, O Saturday! What have you got in store for me today eh? Will it be an easy day, just lazing around the house or going out and taking in the sights? Or will it be pure drudgery, like household chores and grocery shopping?  

Whatever kind of day you turn out to be though Saturday, I’m sure of this one thing; I’ll constantly have the company of Jesus with me, always by my side to provide a healthy chuckle or lend a helping hand when times get difficult. And we’re going to have good time, because this is the day the Lord has made, therefore we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Glory be, mih breddren! 

What a joy and a pleasure it is to have Jesus hanging out with us. Chuh! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh! And though I could go on singing the praises of Jesus all day, He requires me to look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm blessed us with this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And this first quote is something many of us believers need to put into practice. ‘If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.’ Remember friends, it’s a good, Christian attitude and always putting your best foot forward that eventually brighten your way. 

This next quote should be obvious. ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ Doing the same thing, or thinking the same way, won’t get different results. 

Now these next two, which I’ve made one, are certainly interesting. ‘Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.’ And there’s lots of truth in them both, for problems usually show us opportunities, as well as guide us in sound decision making. 

And this last quote is a definite winner! ‘Do what you want to do. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! But we need to do our do with a modicum of circumspection and with God always predominant in the mix. And I can give a personal testimony to that, because over the years I’ve gone out on a limb – am still doing it (smile) – and done some of my heart’s desires. 

Now they were expensive in terms of time, energy, money and emotional distress, but the Lord allowed me to experience them, and I don’t regret them, because they were all learning experiences. But I have to chuckle when I remember how the Lord eased me out of them all, when He considered it time to seriously get into His Word and write His Bit. God gives us dreams, my brethren, so that we can go after them and bring them to fruition and glorify His holy name. 

Okay, enough rambling, let’s turn to our Bit, everlasting words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, as He taught the disciples, and by extension, us, how to pray. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Now yesterday we saw from the scholars’ explanation that God doesn’t tempt us, though He allows some to come against us to test our faithfulness. James gives us this talk on the subject. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them the LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars have some interesting opinions on that verse which give us better understanding. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. 

God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it. (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Cor.10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people is revealed in the Mosaic Law: “That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Deut. 8:16).’  

Ah mih people, I know that doesn’t sit well with some of us, since we’d prefer to escape all the trials and tests. But then how will we ever grow in faith eh, if we keep running from difficulties, because it’s in difficult times that we grow and mature? 

And we’ll end with the verse from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians which the scholars believe makes us too soft and sappy. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

And please note friends, the scholars tell us that the Greek term used in that verse refers more to a safe landing place for a ship, than for an actual escape. So the Lord’s plan is not for us to entirely escape the temptation, but help us to endure it and come out safely on the other side. 

Let’s therefore stop thinking about only escaping temptation, but more about fighting through them and coming out victorious on the other side, with God’s help of course.  That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…only by fighting through trials…rather than escaping them…can a believer grow in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well my people, we did not get the rain that we were expecting in my area yesterday, it just remained drab and cloudy, showing promise, but nothing else. However, shortly after midnight, heavenly showers came pelting down in a big way and finally the thirsty ground was watered and refreshed. Praise to God! 

Right now it’s still damp and cloudy outside, and who knows what will happen later on. But nonetheless it’s Friday, and the weekend looms large and the ordinary workingman can’t help but shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! It seems like the weekend would never come! And massa work so blooming hard…and the pay so li’l bit! 

But for the next couple days we don’t have to worry about massa and he work at all, at all nuh. It’s we time to do what we want… where and with whom. And believe me, come rain or shine, we going to party hearty for the next couple days! Oh Thank God for Fridays and the weekends! Party people, let the party begin!’ 

And who doesn’t like a party eh, especially after a hard week of work? But the boundaries, friends, the boundaries must be tighter than those the ordinary workingman seem to be proposing, else we’re liable to fall into too many evil, ungodly and carnal acts of the flesh, which won’t sit right with our supposed Christian character. 

Our Friday Chant contains a much better intent, so let’s declare it now in all sincerity and truth. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Oh people, I know that it seems to take all the fun out of living, out of the carnal aspect of life yes, but it reinforces our Christian values, which we need to keep firm and steadfast so that we don’t fall to the endless temptation that the evil enemy constantly throws at us. 

That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of Jesus, a part of what He gave us as a blueprint for prayer. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Yes, precious followers of Christ, we indeed need to seek the power of God to help us resist the entreaties of the evil one, who constantly comes bearing worldly, carnal, sinful gifts to entice us into foregoing our righteousness. 

We can’t do it on our own, for our sinful and lustful flesh naturally leans towards the ungodly things of the world. And it’s only through the amazing power of God, His Holy Spirit working in us, that we can resist the fleshly pleasures and beautiful looking things of the world that are constantly held up to us for participation and acceptance. 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that verse. ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. 

The prayer closes with a doxology of praise: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11. Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s faith and hope; hungry hope and expectant faith that carries us through the dark times, as well as the good times. Let’s not forget our awesome God when things are going well with us, as we are so tempted to do. Remembering all the good things He has done for us in the past helps to strengthen our faith. 

Now let’s end with the magnificent prayer of Bruh David to which the scholars alluded, after he encouraged his people to give generously to the building of the Lord’s sanctuary. 

‘Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.’ (1 Chr.29:11-13) 

What beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving friends! Please, let’s allow them to seep into our hearts and souls today, and gently simmer there as we go about doing the work of Jesus. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…God does not tempt…He combats temptation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2015 Proverbs 8:17

Proverbs 8:17.    I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) will find me.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s labouring time, labouring time! Monday morning is here, and Jesus is calling to us to join the fray… 

But first He says, just take a few moments and pray: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever…and ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:10-13) 

Yes my people, it’s a simple and somewhat generic prayer, but nonetheless powerful in its simplicity. According to the old time formula for prayer, it begins with adoration …’Hallowed be thy name…’ then moves into petition…’Give us this day our daily bread…’ then ends in more adoration…’For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory…’ 

And though it’s a useful prayer, per the scholars: ‘This prayer, often called the “Lord’s Prayer,” is in reality a disciple’s prayer. In no way does the prayer itself embody all of Christ’s teaching about prayer; and having just warned against vain repetition (v.7), He did not intend for this particular prayer to be merely recited with empty meaninglessness.’ 

Unfortunately though, that’s what many of us do; recite it without any true heart-felt feeling. Please let’s stop doing that, because it just demeans and lessens the power and purpose of the prayer. 

And having said all of that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a joy and exuberance that will put a brilliant smile on Jesus’ face, and have the Father tapping His toe and clapping along with us. 

In perfect harmony 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 have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my people, that was indeed wonderful…magnificent…magnifico! You could see the joy in Jesus’ eyes as He wielded His baton with grace and majesty, while the angels sang along. And, wonder of wonders, the Father, unable to help Himself, had to get up and dance, so moving and exhilarating was the performance! Mama Mia! 

Now that ought to get us all ‘adrenalized’ (smile) to go out and do God’s will, and thus invoke the sentiments of our Bit. ‘I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) will find me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, how truly wonderful it is to LOVE and serve the Most High God and be able to seek and find Him under any and all circumstances. Let’s make sure though that we just don’t seek Him when times are rough and we need help, as so many of us tend to do. 

It’s ever so important to seek Him during both the bad and good times, so that we don’t give the impression that we’re only in it for what we can get from our omnipotent God, but because we truly LOVE and adore Him and we feel refreshed and enlightened in His company; He just brings out the best in us. 

Now let’s check out a couple of scriptures which corroborate our Bit, beginning with words from the promise of a glorious return to Jerusalem of the captive Israelites in Babylon. ‘Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (are inaccessible).’ (Jer.33:2-3)

Yuh see Friends, Judah had turned away from the Lord, been corrupt, proud and unfaithful to their covenant with Him, so they had to suffer the unfortunate consequences. Likewise, we, individuals as well as nations will suffer serious consequences for our disobedience. However, our God is so gracious, merciful and forgiving, that if we repent and sincerely turn back to Him, He is willing to accept us back into His fold.  

That brings us to Job being implored to repent of his sin by his buddy Eliphaz.  ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law (instructions) from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shall be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents)… 

For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.’ (Job 22:21-23, 26-28) 

Yes my people, all Eliphaz says there is gospel truth, and since our God and His Word does not change, that means it all still applies to us today. So please let’s grab hold of wisdom, and understanding and sincerely turn to God, and follow Him faithfully from now until eternity, for that’s the only thing that makes any sense in this lost and forlorn world. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not following Jesus…then you’re not doing the right thing…and will suffer the eventual consequences…which won’t be very pleasant…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17‏‏

1 Thessalonians 5:17.  PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Oh Friends, on this Thursday spring morning, which looks like it will be another rainy day in my area, let’s give our wonderful God some thanks and praises nuh, for allowing us to see another fruitful day on His glorious earth.

And though our physical surroundings might be raining and cold or extremely hot and miserable, our hearts and souls are always warm and affectionate, because of the bright LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus flowing through them.

And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory be to the Lamb that was slain for us on Calvary’s hill!

And this morning I want to share a paragraph from the Hour of Power Devotional, where Gramps Schuller, (Robert H. Schuller) now sadly deceased, gives us a look at Jesus from his perspective.

‘Jesus Christ was the greatest mountain climber of all times. He climbed all the way to the top of the mountain of Calvary. And from that point He has been conquering the hearts of men and women for two thousand years. From His mountain peak, Jesus Christ won my heart.’

And isn’t that the glorious truth Friends? Jesus climbed to the top of Calvary and offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf, and for that selfless, ever-LOVING deed, He won our hearts hands down!

So why aren’t we showing more of that selfless LOVE to our brothers and sisters like he did eh? Who knows my people, who knows?

I guess there must be a myriad of reasons, but I suggest the strongest general one is that we are too enamoured of the world and its bright, lustful but worthless things, and not interested enough in Jesus and the things of heaven.

But remember that Jesus warned us to seek the kingdom of heaven first, that should be our number one priority, then our heavenly Father would add all those things that we need here on earth to us, for He knows our needs. (Matt.6:33)

He also warned us that no man can serve two masters; we can’t serve God and the prince of darkness at the same time. (Matt.6:24) That double vision and sitting on the fence attitude will get us nowhere with either personage, because they both desire total obedience.

That brings us to our Bit: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.’

And let’s jump right away into Jesus’ teaching on prayer from the famous Sermon on the Mount. ‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites (pretenders) are: for they LOVE to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.

Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (inner room), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.’ (Matt.6:5-8) That’s the truth in spades my people!

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘6:5-6. Praying, like giving, is to be done to the Lord, not to man. Jesus said that people LOVE to pray standing in the synagogues. Both a time and place for prayer were customary in the ancient Jewish synagogue (cf. Mark 11:25)

Therefore, Jesus is not condemning the practice of public prayer, but rather the misuse of it. Because of the statement enter into thy closet, some have suggested that all public prayer is wrong. This would be contrary to the rest of the New Testament statements about prayer, commandments and restrictions regarding prayer, and examples of prayer meetings (cf. Acts 12:12)

The principle here is that the believer should not make a show of his prayer nor the answers he receives to prayer in such a way as to call unnecessary attention to himself.’

‘6:7. Jesus warned that we use not vain repetitions (Gr. battalogeo denote babbling or speaking without thinking). Such prayer was characteristic of the heathen. A good example of this is found in the ecstatic babblings of the false prophets in the Old Testament and in the prophets of Baal who confronted Elijah on Mount Carmel (cf. 1 Kin.18:26-29).’

There we have it Friends! Prayer should be a humble, simple, often private, but sometimes public call to God, without a whole set of talking and repetition like we sometimes tend to do, figuring that the more we say, the more God will hear and answer. But that’s totally wrong my people. The Lord hears us the very first time.

After that, Jesus taught His disciples our foundation prayer, which is certainly worthy of hearing again. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13)

And now my brethren, my fellow believers in Jesus, having said that prayer, let’s go forth to LOVE and serve our magnificent and magnanimous God nuh, with the awesome power of His Holy Spirit leading and guiding us this day and forever. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…prayer ought to be a heartfelt call…not a showboat act…

 

 

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