Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 November 2022 Hebrews 4:15.

Hebrews 4:15.          For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Oh my people it’s Tuesday! Yes, we’ve successfully kicked Monday, our old nemesis into the dustbin of history, and are beginning on a new journey with our great God, which promises exciting things and wonderful adventures. Wow! What an interesting God we serve, for we never know what a new day will bring, except for His new mercies and compassions of that day. That’s all we are ever sure of. However, because He’s faithfully promised in Hebrews 13:5, to never leave nor forsake us, we are confident that though He takes us through the wildest and most dangerous scenarios of life, He will bring us safely through them. 

Sometimes we’ll be anxious and scared to the point of trembling, but never will we doubt or give up on this most mighty and wonderful promise. ‘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) And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Jesus for promising never to leave nor forsake us and to eventually work everything out for our good! We LOVE You and gloriously praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Ah mih faithful bredrin, it’s so awesome to know that when you awaken on a morning, alive and kicking, or even just barely alive (smile) that you have an amazing Deity looking out for you, regardless of what comes against you. It just fills you with an unimaginable joy and sense of purpose, knowing that you can go out and accomplish anything that’s in the Lord’s will. Listen to this promise of empowerment nuh, so graciously offered since the time of the prophet Isaiah. ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

Oh my my, what a glorious promise! But friends, there is a caveat to that promise and most of God’s other promises; that we act in His will, in righteousness and be true servants of God. We can’t just behave willy nilly, irresponsible and evil, like so many supposed believers are doing nowadays and expect to receive the benefits of His promises. No! Our God is indeed a good God, but He’s not a dithering, faltering grandfather, who just does whatever we wish, regardless of our behaviour. Certainly not! We are in a partnership with Him, and He does expect a certain standard of behaviour from His believers, and a high standard at that. One of diligence and excellence, like Jesus showed during His earthly sojourn. 

No, the Lord doesn’t expect us to do everything right like Jesus, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to walk as closely as possible in Jesus’ footsteps, with LOVE, and compassion being first and foremost in our lives, regardless of our personal difficulties, for that’s what Jesus did! And please remember that though Jesus was God, He was also human, so He experienced and felt the exact same things we do, but He just never sinned or gave into the temptations of the enemy. As the author of Hebrews tells us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

There again, our wonderful God has made provision for our falling into diverse temptations because of our sinful nature. Through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary that brought reconciliation between man and God, we are also entitled to come to Him for forgiveness through sincere repentance. Now, which other faith has such wonderful provisions for a bunch of ungrateful sinners eh? None! And yes, the Lord’s given us free will to choose whatever we want to do, but it doesn’t mean we can just sin and be disobedient as we like and get away with it. No siree, for there are consequences, ofttimes major, life-changing ones to every sin that we commit. 

Please don’t forget what Bruh Paul said in his letter to the Romans about that soul-defeating, challenging, enemy hurled thing called sin. He clearly outlined. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) Yes friends, that tells us what we deserve, as opposed to what we get through God’s unmerited favour! If we insist on being sinful and not embracing Christ as Lord and Saviour, then our eventual disposition will be unequivocal death, just like the sinful and disgusting enemy Satan. 

However, if we sincerely embrace Christ, and do our best to live for him, though we may sin, but not live a life of knowing and continual sin, we will end up with Him in a miraculous place called heaven, where eternal life is guaranteed. Now, I can’t think or conceive of a better place to spend eternity. But if you can, please share it with me, like I’m sharing my best idea with you. (smile) Oh my people, God’s Word found in His Holy Library, the Bible, is so chocked full of promises that if we don’t read, study and meditate on it, we’ll never find success in this crazy and evil world. 

And it’s not me saying that, but it’s what the Lord himself said to Joshua many moons ago, when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. Please listen very closely to this oh so important scripture. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written there: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my fellow saints that’s possibly the most important scripture in the Bible! Why? Because when you constantly meditate on God’s word and keep it continually in your mouth, note it is to be kept continually in your speech, then you will know what the Word says, and you will be able to practice it and live a successful life! In summation, I sincerely offer that there’s nothing better than that in this earthly sojourn! (smile) But the only way you’ll ever find out if I’m telling the truth or not, is by doing what the Lord says, and what I’m passing on. (smile) 

Anyway, for those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour and are doing our best to live for him, let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice. ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share our amazing LOVE and friendship with Christ, so that others can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…choosing to follow the enemy brings certain death… choosing to follow Christ means living forever…please use your free will wisely…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ       

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘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) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2020 Luke 18:1.

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

One more morning, one more beautiful day! Another beautiful morning, has come our way!’ Yes friends, it is a beautiful, sunshiny, cool day in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! Oh yes, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for every new day we see, especially if it’s a beautiful day, because that simply reinforces the promise we hold of His great and unconditional LOVE for us! And all God’s people declared (steups! – couldn’t wait until the end to misspell it – smile) a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And it also means that regardless of whatever situations or circumstances we face today, we will have His invaluable help to successfully solve them, as He has also promised never to leave nor forsake us! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! And before we go on, let me apologize for a mistake yesterday, re ‘inciteful explanation of the scholars.’ I don’t know if it was just a typo or a brain cramp, (smile) but I really meant ‘insightful,’ to give you greater insight and understanding into the matter – although, come to think about it now, rousing your spirits and stirring you up wasn’t a bad idea either. (smile) 

And if you think our God isn’t a responsive and considerate God, but also one with a sense of purpose and of humour, then listen to this testimony. Yesterday evening I was somewhat under the weather, and I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so lousy and my spirits were at a low ebb, so obviously I went to the Father seeking some understanding. And after communing for a while, you won’t believe the scripture He led me to. The opening verse of Luke 18. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ 

Then Jesus told them of the unjust judge who refused to listen to the hurt widow, but for her continually bothering him. (Luke 18:2-8) And then he followed that up with the tale of the Pharisee and publican (tax collector) who went into the temple to pray and how the hypocritical Pharisee beat his chest and extolled his religious efforts, while the publican would not even lift up his head but sincerely acknowledged his faults. (Luke 18:9-14) Now here are some ‘insightful’ explanations from the scholars on those passages, which I expect us to read. (smile) 

‘18:1-14. These verses teach on prayer, a prominent emphasis in Luke.’ ’18:1. To faint “means to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ ‘18:6-8. If an unjust judge acts in this way, how much more hope may God’s children place in God? However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness. It is whether believers will persist in supplication (vs.7), or whether their patience and perseverance will give out by the time Christ finally returns (vs. 8; see also vs.1).’ 

‘18:9-14. Here is a parable with special application to ancient or modern Pharisees. Jesus teaching method was generally direct rather than evasive.’ Yes friends, Jesus didn’t mince words, or pussy-foot around the problem. He came straight to the point. And for this next explanation, I think I should spell out the verse. As the Pharisee beats his chest, he declares: ‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ (Luke 18:12) And the scholars explain. ‘18:12. This is not an exaggeration, but an example of how Pharisees truly exceeded the letter of the law in their piety. But their pride and contempt for others reveals their state of heart.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately that sad picture resembles so many of us believers today! We have this pious and righteous outlook, but our hearts are filled with envy and pride and contempt for our fellow man because we think we’re so holy and righteous, which is the wrong attitude for true believers to have. 

But coming back to our focal point; the perseverance of believers in prayer, Jesus also spoke of it earlier on when He tells about the friend coming to another friend’s door late at night looking for food to feed an unexpected late arriving guest. And the friend doesn’t get up and give him because he is a friend, ‘yet because of his importunity (perseverance) he will rise and give him as many ae he needeth.’ (Luke 11:8) 

And the scholars explain. ‘11:8. The word translated importunity probably describes the man’s persistence. Jesus is, then, giving an example of prevailing prayer. (see 18:1) The same word does lend itself to a second interpretation. It may refer, not to the petitioner, but to the one being petitioned. In this case the lesson would be that God, because of His desire to uphold His good name, grants the requests of those who seek Him, as a means of bearing witness to his own character and power.’ Yeh friends, however you look at it, once we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, persistent prayer ought to become the mainstay of our lives from then on! 

Several other Bible verses maintain that, many of them from Bruh Paul. For instance: ‘Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom. 12:12) And hear this to the Ephesians: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yes mih people, even with God’s armour on, (Eph. 6:13-17) we still need to pray for us to achieve victory! And we’ll end with this well known verse to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing!’ (1 Thess. 5:17) Short and to the point. 

And if there was ever a time for steadfast and sincere prayer, this time of pandemic and unrest is it! So let’s take all that we’ve read today to heart nuh and keep praying. But today’s last prayer is one of thanksgiving, thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has so generously poured out on us to do His earthly work. Let’s declare then, in strong voice with sincere hearts, our Thursday Blessings Prayer. 

‘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!’ 

Now the onus is on us to go out and share those marvellous blessings with others, just as generously as God has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet still…to pray…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2016 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

So how do we begin this morning eh friends? I don’t have a clue as to how to engage your attention on this cloudy Friday morning in the fall of 2016, except to say: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the workweek is almost done! The weekend is here…

Give God the glory for that, because if the slave master had his way, we’d work seven days a week. Steups! The greedy fool! But thanks be to God for the weekend where we can do as we please… And am I going to live it up? You could bet yuh bottom dollar on that! Just watch me!’ 

Ah mih people, just like us eh? We go from one extreme to the other, from working too hard to partying too hard. But that only causes undue stress, burn out and eventually illness. What we need is some kind of balance in our lives, and our Friday Chant gives us direction on that. 

So let’s chant it nuh. ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, rest, relaxation, fellowship and play are all necessary for us to live full and godly lives, but we need to mix them in the right proportion, don’t over do any of them. And if we find it difficult to get the right mix, the right balance, there is always our great God to turn to for advice and help. 

What does our Bit say: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And that’s the living truth in a nutshell! 

Our Creator and Provider is always there for us. In times of trouble we only need to call upon Him with a sincere heart and He will guide us to victory. Remember, He promises never to leave nor forsake us, and He stands by His promises. 

And my brethren, we all have problems that we can’t solve, or handle, so there is no shame or disgrace in turning to the Lord for help. In fact, that’s what He wants us to do; come to Him for every purpose in life, be they big or small. The Lord wants to be an integral part of our lives, involved in EVERYTHING that we do. 

But foolishly, we only want to allow Him to become involved in certain things, the others we want to deal with ourselves. Unfortunately though precious people, the Lord doesn’t work like that. He wants to be involved in ALL or NOTHING AT ALL! 

So please, let’s check our lives and see if there are any areas that we are keeping God out of nuh, and then wisely invite Him to be a part of those areas. Yuh know that might be a part of our problem, why our lives aren’t going right at the moment; God isn’t totally involved in them. 

Now let’s check out some scripture which reinforces our Bit. Hear Moses as he exhorts Israel to obedience. ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh (a God so near) unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call him for? 

And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgements so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?’ (Deut.4:7-8) 

And the answer to both questions friends is NONE! Truly, there is no other God who is so involved, who takes such great interest in the affairs of men! And that’s the way it ought to be. We don’t need a God who is far off, unconcerned about our trials and tribulations, but one who is around when we need help. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God – as he cries out in despair. ‘Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.   Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head. 

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill (mountain).   Selah. I laid down and slept; I awaked: for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:2-6) 

Oh what a glorious God we serve my people! That’s the kind of confidence He instills in us when we walk obedient to His will! So I really can’t understand why we refuse to walk steadfastly with Him. There is so much to be derived from a genuine walk with Christ, that it would take me a whole day to list them. (smile) 

Now let’s go home with these wonderful words of Bruh David echoing in our minds, souls, bodies and hearts. From Psalm 145 – the Lord is gracious – he faithfully proclaims. ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps.145:17-21) 

Wow! Oh my fellow believers right there we have the gospel truth in black and white! Please, please, I implore us, let’s take it heart nuh, so that our lives can be fulfilled! Let’s continually praise our wonderful God and bless His holy name at all times, for that is wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise Him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…